Thursday, May 31, 2007

Floyd Landis racing this weekend

Dr. Brent Kay, Floyd Landis' physician, announces on Landis' website that Floyd will be participating in this weekend's Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado.

"Better yet, he will be racing for Athletes for a Cure, a program of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Floyd will donate any and all prize money to the Foundation and encourages everyone to make donations to this worthy cause by visiting the website".

Pommi will be north of the border and shutting out news for a week. Until then, eh!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wed, May 30

Next week we'll be enjoying a little vacation time in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. If you know of any cool things to do in Whistler, pass it along.

With 41% into 2007, I have reached 54% of this year's goal to ride 2500 miles.
2007 riding stats: #of rides: 36, annual mileage: 1372, pace: 3358.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cyclist Dies In Fatal Menlo Park Accident

Sand Hill Road again ... a 67-year old cyclist was killed this morning when riding east-bound on Sand Hill Rd; he was struck by a car which was also heading east-bound, west of the 280 intersection. KTVU Channel 2 just reported that the driver of the car was an 87-year old man; the KTVU video coverage places the accident approximately here, roughly 1 mile west of where MaryAnn Levenson was hit and injured by a car on Dec 23, 2006. This morning's tragic accident doesn't help me in feeling less edgy when riding this stretch of Sand Hill Rd, between Santa Cruz Ave and Whiskey Hill Rd. Be safe out there.

Update 5/27: the cyclist has been identified as Rodney Smith from Portola Valley; Smith served as CEO for Altera Corporation from 1983 to 2000.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Malibu, Day 9 - Afternoon

We're on the last leg of the 9-day Floyd Landis / USADA hearing in Malibu. Whether or not we will hear closing arguments today, is not clear. After lunch, Suh will commence the cross-examination of Dr. Brenna, and then call Dr. Davis as his sur-rebuttal witness. How long will this go on ? Cross-examination of the sur-rebuttal witness ? USADA calling Dr. Brenna as a rebuttal witness to the sur-rebuttal witness' testimony ? Surreal.

1:25pm, and again: "NO VIDEO FOR YOU".
Ok, live feed is back for me at 1:37pm.

Brunet: "Welcome back". Suh starts cross of Dr. Brenna. Suh is good, and grills Brenna on the OS/2 peak identification using the internal standard. Brenna makes a confused impression. I think Brenna saved himself from total embarrassment here. Suh calls Dr. Simon Davis next. Davis states that he disagrees with Brenna's testimony on linearity, and that Brenna confused the instrument with another instrument. Davis shows LNDD0314 and LNDD0315, Brenna is making faces [needs new glasses?], shaking his head and rolling his eyes. No more further question from either Suh or USADA. No more witnesses.

Brunet asking for the time for closing arguments. Suh requires less than 90 minutes, wants to go last, as per an earlier procedural order #5 by the panel. USADA also needs 90 minutes or less, but also wants to respond last, as per UCI rules. Brunet claims the procedural order is not clear on who goes last. Suh is conferring with Floyd and Jacobs; Suh declares that they leave the decision to the panel. McLaren decides on the order: Young full arguments, Suh rebuttal to Young, Suh full arguments, Young rebuttal to Suh, Suh last words. Time for a 10-minute break.

I think I'm just going to watch. Coverage provided by TBV.

Young just said that the blood sample analysis that was provided by Denise Demir, showed the highest recorded hematocrit levels of 48%. Cannot say whether this means something.

4:15pm, Suh starts his closing arguments. LNDD and USADA are really getting slammed. Brilliant performance by Suh. The panel can't possibly give it to USADA.

Young gets the last words: "When the facts are not on your side, you accuse people, of lying, hiding, trafficing. We trust the panel to reach its own conclusions.". Suh has no further comments. The hearing will be adjourned until all parties have filed their final documents.

That's it. It's over.

Thanks to TBV and Bill Hue for their dedication and excellent coverage.

Malibu, Day 9 - Morning

To the relief of many, the last day of the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing has arrived. Dr. Simon Davis will be again on the witness stand this morning. USADA will probably present Dr. Brenna as a rebuttal witness. Today's session is scheduled to start at 9:30am, in about 20 minutes.

9:25am, we've got live audio and video. Arlene and Paul Landis, as usual, one of the first attendees to take their seats. People filing in slowly. USADA's lawyers are present. Chatter and laughter in the room.

The panel members have now arrived, and my live feed is gone, so for the time being, I'll follow TBV's coverage.

By the time I got the live feed back at around 10:30am, Young appeared trying to contradict Davis on a sworn statement from February, but without luck. Jacobs has now started questioning Davis. McLaren looks distraught. Davis is excused, 15-minute recess.

USADA's case is going down the drain. Who expects miracles from Dr. Brenna ? Hands up ! So far, Landis won on the science portion, while USADA is focusing too much on the credibility portion, which in my opinion, carries far less weight, if at all. Seems like USADA is in the saving-face phase. Right now I doubt that Dr. Brenna will be called.

The hearing resumes, and I doubted wrong: Young is calling Dr. Brenna. Let's hear it. Dr. Brenna explains how he is able to identify the internal standard; he thereby contradicts Meier-Augenstein's statement that LNDD didn't know how to identify the internal standard. Brenna also believes there are no issues with linearity or lack thereof. duckstrap comments over at TBV:

Brenna appears to be comparing the GCMS chromatograms to alternative GCMS CGs. These are similar, as expected because the chromatography conditions are similar. What is not similar are GCMS CGs that should lead to peak identification, and the IRMS CGs that produce the CIR values. These chromatography conditions are not similar to the GCMS. These are the ones that need to match, and they do not, by a mile.

[Correcting himself] What Brenna was referring to was the retention times of the internal standards for the IRMS results, which, again should be internally consistent. What is not consistent is still the comparison between the IRMS and the GCMS, which is on, e.g. USADA 168 corresponding to the IRMS report on USADA 169.

I have the impression, Brenna is just trying to weasel his way out, like "if memory serves [hint at foggy memory], the value was 1.174 [aah, memory is back]". Suh will call Dr. Davis after the cross-examination of Dr. Brenna, but first: lunch break. Hearing to be resumed 1:15pm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Malibu, Day 8 - Afternoon

The cross-examination of Floyd Landis is finished, and we should be seeing Simon Davis, IRMS expert, as the next witness of the Landis team. The live feed has not started; maybe I heard it wrong, and we resume at a quarter past 1pm, and not before 1pm.

Barnett's performance from this morning was behind my expectations. Now that I could read up on the part that I missed, USADA was trying to go somewhere with blood samples that were requested by Landis early on, but USADA apparently never received them from UCI. Other than that, no smoking guns. TBV, apparently also flabbergasted about the detour into Landis' all-black outfit on Thursday, remarks dryly: "Black clothes are next on the prohibited list.".

1:20pm, where's everybody ? Live feed is back, showing an empty panel table.
1:50pm, still no movement other than Ms. Stenographer sitting at her desk, and a couple of folks chatting by the door.
1:55pm, McLaren walked in along with the USADA lawyers; now Brunet and Campbell. We're good to go.

Suh addresses the panel, but the audio is bad and I couldn't get all of it; something about a one-page summary and a potential female witness. Brunet explains the reasons for starting the afternoon session late: they met with USADA's and Landis' lawyers; USADA raised an objection about the upcoming testimony about Dr. Davis. USADA's is concern is that they didn't have sufficient time to prepare for the technical issues that are going to be raised. USADA will receive the software that Davis will be using. Panel advises to go ahead with the testimony, and Suh calls Simon Davis.

Suh asks Davis about his background and concepts of GC/MS and IRMS. (Meanwhile I peeked at TBV's site, and the topic Suh raised, is about a summary of Floyd's blood serum values, and Denise Demir, former Phonak team doctor, is on her way to Malibu). I need a coffee now.

Davis deems the LNDD data as unreliable, after having witnessed all of the B sample testing at LNDD back in April. Davis shows a picture of the IsoPrime at LNDD, and it shows metal rings on top of the magnet. Davis says that these rings are for transportation purposes and are NOT supposed to remain attached to the magnet during operation. Davis also testifies on the lack of an operating manual for the IsoPrime at LNDD. The manual says that the pressure shown on the Penning gauge should be between 2 and 4E-6 mBar, but USADA0176 shows the pressure to be out of range (5.2E-6 mBar). Effects of running at wrong pressure is e.g. non-linearity, and that numbers are generally becoming unreliable. On top of that, the pressure should be static/constant but was observed to vary. 15-minute recess, then Suh will go into the detailed analysis of the A sample.

The provided printout for an automated batch analysis of the A sample shows that some of the individual sequences were not performed as part of that batch run. Over to the B sample, USDA0331: same here where data is not reflected on the batch summary where it is supposed to be (c.f. USADA0358). Davis' opinion is that samples were run out of sequence, and that manual re-injection was done, but that none of that was documented.

q: so the data doesn't match.
a: nope.

If the data don't fit, you must acquit.

Davis is about to run a demo of the software. USADA raises objections about the software version. 5-minute recess so that Davis can check on how long it would take to load the proper software version onto his PC.

Little more than half an hour officially left in today's hearing. Tomorrow: cross-examination of Davis, and potentially three more witnesses: Denise Demir, and two rebuttal witnesses for USADA.

While the software is being reinstalled, Davis demonstrates the effects on how LNDD's manual background subtraction and manual peak integration had an effect on the charts and also a significant impact on the isotopic values. Davis' conclusion about LNDD's analytical competence:
a: they clearly did not understand the instrument. I had to help them load the software on the machine. They were obviously trying to help each other during the reprocessing and did not generally know how the software worked.

5pm, Brunet adjourns the hearing until tomorrow. USADA's rebuttal witnesses are not confirmed until end of Davis' testimony, but they expect to call Dr. Brenna.

Malibu, Day 8 - Morning

Probably the most anticipated part of the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, is this morning's cross-examination of Landis himself.

The session is supposed to start in about 15 minutes. Stay tuned.

9:40am, everyone but the panel members are there. Ok, now they're here, unpack their water bottles, start their laptops, and we've got a liftoff: "Morning, everyone!".
Time left for Landis: 4.4 hours, USADA 11.2 hours. The motion to strike Lemond's testimony was denied, reasons to be provided later. USADA calls Landis as witness. Next, role call. Barnett: "Good morning, Mr. Landis". Barnett asking about the sample collection process, and whether he had specific conversations about the use of testosterone. Next, Barnett refers to the Papp testimony and asks Landis about whether he's familiar with T micro-dosing. Barnett presents a news article from July 28, 2006, mentioning a German doctor Kurt Moosburger, who said that T patches can be of benefit. Question about whether Floyd was concerned about the doping cases at Phonak when he signed with the team. Other small-Q&A, not detailing it here.

I missed out on the cross-examination (something about requested blood samples) until Barnett asks about the Lemond phone call. The contention was, simply put, that Lemond said that Landis confessed to doping, while Landis said he didn't. Discussion about Floyd's DPF post about Lemond. Barnett is leading Landis towards his Saturday testimony about he being traumatized when having learned about Lemond's personal experience, and then writing that post at DPF, hinting at that very personal experience. Landis's response is that his post was NOT related to Lemond's personal experience, but generally because of him being extremely upset that his private conversation was mis-characterized by Lemond in public. Next, questions about Will-Gate. Going over the time line of what happened last Wednesday night. Landis admits he didn't talk to his lawyers that night. Barnett is asking about Landis' outfit on Thursday. What relevance has that ?? Barnett brings up a news article in reference to his outfit, which quotes Landis: "It represents the end of any credibility Greg Lemond has left". Landis denies having made that comment. Well, what has this to do with the case ? Back to Will-Gate, Landis clarifies that he told the attorneys as soon as he arrived at Pepperdine that morning. 15-minute recess.

Before the session resumes, links to other coverage:
Bill Hue
TBV

The court room still looks like it'll be at least another 5 minutes before we resume. The USADA lawyers rush in, where's the Landis team ? Here they come. We resume.

Barnett continues with the cross-examination, asking about the interview that Landis gave to Bicycling magazine (Note: it's the June 2007 edition). Article written by Loren Mooney, the author of his upcoming book. The quote Barnett is asking about: "Don't poke the crazy guy.". Barnett has apparently never heard that before. Goes in as an exhibit; what's the relevance ? No further questions from Barnett, over to Jacobs. It's back to the Phonak days and internal controls. Here comes the Girona question, where he shared an apartment with Dave Zabrieskie, and where most Americans train during winter. Jacobs asks Landis about Papp's testimony that T help recovery or endurance; Landis mentions that he just heard it in conversations. Now to July 23, the final stage in the 2006 TdF, which showed a normal T/E ratio but T metabolites consistent with exogenous T usage. Landis states that this is an easy stage, without a risk of losing the Tour. No more question from Jacobs, and none from USADA. Brunet calls for lunch break. We'll resume 12:45pm.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Malibu, Day 8 - Preview

Scheduled as witnesses in the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing for tomorrow:

- Floyd Landis
- Simon Davis, Technical Director of Mass Spec Solutions

Closing arguments are now scheduled to be completed by Wednesday (Source).

Malibu, Day 7 - Afternoon

Pommi is taking a day off today and had slept through this morning's proceedings in the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing; yesterday's century took its toll on me.

Rant and TBV though are up and awake, and have been following the circus as usual:

Monday Warmup
Monday Hearings: First Update
Monday Hearings: Second Update

Hearing - Mon Meier-Augenstein - I
Hearing - Mon Meier-Augenstein II
Hearing - Mon Meier-Augenstein III
Hearing - Mon Meier-Aug summary

The afternoon session will start with the cross-examination of Dr. Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, and the next witness after Meier-Augenstein will be Dr. John Amory from the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Although Floyd is listed as a witness today, depending on the length of the questioning of the two experts, we may not see Landis back in the witness stand until tomorrow.

I love the exchange between Young and Meier-Augenstein; Germans don't take crap from anyone. When Young asked him about his experience, Meier-Augenstein responded "we can talk about this until the cows come home".

Lost video and audio.

This morning, Meier-Augenstein said:

"I'm terribly sorry, but if someone's life depends on it, his career depends on it, you don't go on assumptions," said Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, an expert in the kind of testing that produced Landis' positive results for synthetic testosterone.

"Like shooting fish in a barrel," Meier-Augenstein called the process of trying to analyze what he said is sloppy data.

"Even cheaters have a right to a fair hearing and to have data used against them that can be proved"

From TBV's play-by-play:
"q: what in nature has that value?
a: it doesn't have to be in nature my dear friend."

"q: where is it in the spec it matters if it's outside the spec?
a: they must have some criteria, how do they choose? Divine intervention? I'm amazed."

Brilliant!

Got back audio and video. It sometimes looks as if Meier-Augenstein is cross-examining Young. BRILLIANT! Young's only "rebuttal" that I hear is the repetition of "You are not experienced in this and that". Meier-Augenstein's response: "Read the entire paragraph; don't quote out of context!". At 2:28pm, Young is done with the witness, no further questions from Suh, 15-minute recess.

3pm, we're a few minutes into Dr. John Amory's testimony. Amory essentially rejects the suggestion that the use of testosterone is beneficial for endurance athletes. Amory and Meier-Augenstein have been very good picks by the Landis team; they're both worth their money. Amory states that Floyd's T, E and T/E numbers from the 2006 TdF are not consistent with numbers associated with the application of testosterone. Amory explains that in Floyd's case, the metabolite numbers don't behave the same way as the T/E ratio and T and E values, so that's why the numbers don't make sense to him.

3:45pm, Young started cross-examination. He's having a BAD day. 4:10pm, Young is finished, literally. Now it's Jacobs' turn.

Lost video again, and the session is not listed anymore at courtroomconnect.net. In addition, DPF is down for about an hour now. But we appear to be done with the hearing for today, to be resumed tomorrow 9:30am.

Here's a comment that was posted over at TBV today; any similarities to cross-examinations of German scientists are intentional.

(Ok, I know I didn't invent the "banana anology")
Q: Professor, so you're saying that this banana, universally recognized by our experts as "blue", is actually "yellow"?
A: Why yes, it's yellow.

Q. But you're not an expert on banana coloration are you?
A: No, but it's clearly yellow.

Q. Where does it say it has to be yellow and not blue?
A. It doens't have to say it anywhere, it's pretty common knowlege that bananas are yellow, except for periods of time when they are green, but I can clearly see today it is yellow.

Q. But you're not a banana color expert correct?
A. True, but I've worked with color identification and I do extensive research with color identification, which can be applied to bananas and everything else.

Q. What if you look at this poor picture of a banana?
A. It's hard to tell from that photo whether it's even a banana because of the poor quality.

Q.Well, what if someone else said that this was a photo of a blue banana?
A. They'd be an idiot.

Q. I hate you!

My apologies to the orginal poster of the banana sequence.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sun, May 20

Today was the somewhat dreaded day of the week: getting up at 4:30am, driving 70 miles to Vacaville, and then participate in the Monticello Solano Century. To make a long story short, the three of us completed the route in 8 hours, including five rest stops. Now it's time for bed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Malibu, Day 6 - Afternoon

I'm back. I'm trying to quickly process the morning's coverage from the Floyd Landis hearing before the afternoon session starts, which is in about 10 minutes from now at 1:45pm. Seems they're done with the appearance of Mr. Schnäzer, and there's some "talk" that Dr. Catlin is NOT next. Rant has actually a nice summary from this morning.

1:54pm, it IS Dr. Catlin as the next witness. I'm just going to refer to Bill Hue's and TBV's coverage.

3:10pm, we're in a short recess. 3:27pm, the circus continues with Suh cross-examining Dr. Catlin. The lawyers are done with Catlin at 3:48pm, now Campbell chimes in with questions.

3:55pm, everyone done with Catlin, now it's Landis turn. Jacobs begin his questioning by asking about Floyd's background and how he got into professional cycling. Landis is now describing details of his experiences in S16 and S17. Hey, the should play the stage in the courtroom while Floyd relives it. Other topics: the post-TdF events, Floyd's point of view on Will-Gate, and his hip surgery. Floyd makes a very confident, competent and honest impression.

We're past 5pm now. Once Jacobs is done, which sounds to be in a few minutes, we should be adjourned. And WE ARE. The hearing is suspended until Monday, 8:00AM.

(Hi strbuk, the post is complete now :)).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Malibu, Day 6 - Preview

For most part of tomorrow's Floyd Landis / USADA hearing, I won't be able to follow the coverage from Malibu. This is unfortunate as Floyd himself will be on the witness stand tomorrow. Before Landis, the following witnesses are scheduled:

- Wilhelm Schnäzer, Phd (telephone), Director, Institute of Biochemistry of the German Sports University Cologne

- Don H. Catlin, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and former founder and director, Olympic Analytical Laboratory, UCLA

I hope that "15"-minute recesses and a 75-minute lunch will delay Floyd's testimony / cross-examination until I'm back in the afternoon.

Malibu, Day 5 - Afternoon

Today's coverage of the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing, continued from "Malibu, Day 5 - Morning".

The next scheduled witnesses are Joseph Papp for USADA and Dr. Bruce Goldberger for Landis. Fireworks this afternoon ? Anyone ? Video, but no audio, is back at 1:55pm, and it looks like it takes another few minutes for the hearing to resume. Floyd's mom just sat down, and Bill Hue is sitting there in anticipation of things to come. 2:10pm, Barnett walks in, flirts with Ayotte .. no, they look over some papers. 2:17pm, Brunet welcomes back everyone. Update from him: Close of evidence is Wed 5/23 5pm, Closing arguments are TBD. Witness list is closed. Saturday will be a hearing day, from 9:30am-5pm, same as upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday will have a special starting time: 8:00am. Barnett calls Joseph Papp into the witness stand. Is Papp wearing the same tie as Floyd ?

Papp confesses to doping with EPO in 2001. He started doping with Testosterone in winter of 2005, and he received it by prescription by a "doping doctor"; he even brought the product with him: Androgel, Testosterone-Gel. Papp testifies that he didn't use the gel for muscle building, but for quick recovery, and that T/E screening did not pick up the T [initially]. He tells about that the gel is applied after a doping test on multi-stage races, and that "you're back to normal levels" 4 hours later. Papp accepted a two-year ban based on a May 6, 2006 AAF. Papp is then asked about analysis of power data; Barnett presents Floyd's S17 PowerTap data. 7% of Landis' 2005-2006 data points were OVER Landis' S17 data. The detour into the PowerTap data land is irrelevant for the case; what is relevant is Papp's testimony that T-microdosing helps recovery, opposed to what the Landis camp claims. Suh now doing cross-examination. It's mostly about what Papp has achieved (NOTHING!) in his cycling career, and the benefits on Papp by taking EPO. Suh gets him to admit that he also took caffeine, but Papp can't say what drugs he took when he was with Whistle, an Italian cycling team (the team has since been renamed). Suh asked him about who gave the drugs to him, but Papp needs to confer with his lawyer first. 15-minute recess.

Meanwhile, FFF's Michael Henson had sent out a letter regarding Will Geoghegan:

May 18, 2007

Dear Floyd Fairness Fund Supporter,

In light of the news coverage of yesterday’s testimony at the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing, we are writing to clarify that Will Geoghegan, who served as Floyd’s business manager until being fired yesterday, had no formal role with the FFF.

Floyd’s legal team is making excellent progress validating our case in the courtroom and Mr. Geoghegan’s actions have created a sad and very regrettable distraction from the critical issues at hand. Mr. Geoghegan’s telephone call to Greg Lemond is distressing and deeply abhorrent to those of us who are devoting substantial time and resources to a cause focused on advancing justice and fairness – in our case for Floyd and all athletes subject to the WADA/USADA system. People who have suffered sexual abuse deserve support and counseling, and there is no excuse for any other approach to victims of abuse of any kind.

As the focus of the hearings returns to disproving WADA/USADA’s allegations against Floyd, we are confident that the facts and science will continue to bear public proof of his innocence. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

3:30pm, Suh's cross-examination of Papp continues. Papp admits he got the drugs from the brother of the team director; HGH, amphetamine, EPO, thyroid hormones (hmm!), Insulin, anabolic steroids, the whole nine yards. Apparently, Papp's USADA case was only settled yesterday. Redirect to Barnett, and back to Suh, who brings up Papp's drug trafficking. Uh-oh. 5-minute recess.

Next up is Dr. Goldberger, a witness for the Landis camp; Jacobs questions. Goldberger is here to testify about LNDD's mistakes. Now we're talking about the white-outs, wtf ? Goldberger essentially says the data is unreliable in light of all these corrections. But he may have a point about the chromatograph that basically indicates that LNDD may have not measured one ion but two. Still, the T-E chromatograph looks "horrible" according to him (he complimented a chromatograph from the Montreal lab though). Going through many more graphs. 5pm, I'm tired; can they wrap up now ?

Tomorrow I'll take a break, and Sunday it's the Monticello Century.

Jacobs is reminded by Brunet that it's past five, but Goldberger won't be available tomorrow, so we carry on. Goldberger's response to whether he has any confidence in LNDD's analysis: "Not at all". Young starts the cross-examination. 5:32pm Jacobs' turn, and at 5:35pm the hearing is adjourned.

Malibu, Day 5 - Morning

Day 5 in the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing.

Today on the witness list:

Continued from yesterday:
- Christiane Ayotte

Scheduled:
- Dr. Corinne Buisson, IRMA Supervisor LNDD

- Joseph Papp, Professional cyclist

- Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology in the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Yesterday at this time we were speculating what Lemond could possibly has to testify; now we know. Today the question is what Joseph Papp has to say.
In addition, we will very likely see Will Geoghegan being called as a witness. So there will be more poking in the wound that Will caused two days ago by calling Lemond and threatening him.

The password for today's live feed: LandisF2/Q5P9ecux. 35 minutes until the circus starts.

Fresh from the ticker: Will Geoghegan issued a press release, from TBV:

"I apologize to Greg LeMond and his family for the distress I caused by my call. I also apologize to the arbitration panel and to Floyd Landis and his legal team for the distraction. I have been very angry about how unfair this whole proceeding is to Floyd, a great friend and a greater champion, and stupidly tried to take out my anger on Greg. I acted on my own, impulsively, after a beer or two. I never thought about keeping Greg from testifying. If I had, I would have concluded that since Greg is such a fierce competitor my stunt would likely make him more resolved to testify. What I did was wrong and very unfair to Greg. I am very sorry about and embarrassed by my conduct."

The hearing is off, with Suh cross-examining Ayotte. Bill Hue notes that Geoghegan is NOT present this morning. Suh has yielded to Jacobs, but a 15-minute recess is called at 10:12am. At 10:48am, we're ready to resume. And why do they call it 15-minute recess, if they always wander off for 30-60 minutes ? It was decided to now go ahead with a new witness, Dr. Corinne Buisson, and finish up with Christiane Ayotte later. Suh finishes his cross-examination with Buisson at 11:30am. Since USADA didn't have questions for Buisson, we'll resume with Ayotte after a 5-minute break. Jacobs is finished with Ayotte at 12:25pm. Barnett has no questions, but brings up that Geoghegan has counsel now and is seeking him as a witness, but Will is not here. USADA will take it up with Geoghegan's lawyers, and we're adjourned for lunch for one hour.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Malibu, Day 4 - Afternoon

1:08pm, Pommi is back after a quick lunch ride. The afternoon session's feed of the Floyd Landis hearing is playing since 1:00pm, albeit no video or audio, until 1:19pm, when questioning of GREG LEMOND started. Lemond exactly voiced the sentiments that I stated yesterday, about Floyd's victory and then the doping news a few days later. Lemond then goes on describing the phone call he received from Floyd, and then is asked by Barnett about Floyd's posts on DPF.

The heat is rising the courtroom. Lemond did file a police report about a threatening phone call he received last night, and the phone call was traced back to Will Geoghegan. Holy cow. THIS is the Race to the Bottom. CN has an article out already. Jacobs then started his questioning, and at 1:50pm we're off to a 15-minute recess.

The 15-minute recess lasted 60 minutes. Considering the Lemond bombshell, is this why Floyd is wearing black today ? Everybody is seated, the doors shut. Is Will is gone ?

During the recess, the Panel met with the Counsel regarding Jacob's motion; they decided, and Jacobs is allowed to continue to question Lemond. Same discussion about Lemond's refusal to answer Jacob's questions comes up, Lemond's testimony is terminated. Will Geoghegan is being called as the next witness, but he needs to get legal advise first. Suh then announces that Will has been fired.

USADA's next witness, questioned by Walter Matthau, I mean Richard Young, is Christiane Ayotte, PhD, Professor, and Director Montreal WADA Accredited Laboratory.

10-minute recess called at 3:55pm, and it ends at 4:14pm. Young continuing to question Ayotte, but this is all bland compared to just 1 1/2 hours ago. Brunet reiterated that today's session will end at 5pm sharp, and just now, in the middle of Jacobs still questioning Ayotte, the live feed was cut off.

This afternoon has indeed been bizarre. See you for Day 5.

Malibu, Day 4 - Morning

USADA's witness list for the Floyd Landis /USADA hearing was amended yesterday to drop Claire Frelat (LNDD) and add Greg Lemond. To our surprise, Ms. Frelat is the first witness today, and Suh is right now going over the same logs as yesterday with Cynthia Mongongu.

Early quote of the Day:

"Bordry, Botre ... two different people .... I suppose." - Maurice Suh.

At DPF, it is being reported that Eddie Merckx does not want to testify:
"I know nothing about the case and have nothing to do with it."

The other surprise is that Floyd is NOT wearing a yellow tie today, but is dressed all in black. Has the "gallows humor" turned into a realization ?

Frelat admitted that she knew that she was testing Floyd's S17 B sample back in August, just due to the press coverage. Now, a 15-minute recess called at 9:57am. 15 minutes turned into 40, and at 10:37am, we're close to resuming.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Malibu, Day 4 - preview

Tomorrow is Day Four in the Floyd Landis /USADA hearing at Pepperdine University.

One of USADA's witnesses tomorrow will be Greg Lemond, three-time TdF winner. Many ask what relevant information Lemond could possibly contribute. Cynics say that USADA had asked LNDD to analyze Lemond's sample from his Tour win in 1990; those samples came back positive for an unnamed, prohibited substance, and then USADA had approached Lemond to "rat" Landis in return for keeping silent about the doping offense. Yes, I made that up. Or is it that Lemond is bitter because of the disappointment when learning about Floyd's positive sample, and will now turn on Landis ?

July 24, 2006:

American cycling legend Greg Lemond hailed compatriot Floyd Landis's victory in the Tour de France, describing this year's edition of the race as "the best of all time."

Then after the news broke, on July 27, 2006, in an interview to L'Equipe:
"This news destroys me. I am sure that Floyd Landis and his family are deeply saddened by all that. Floyd is not a bad guy. He is victim of a sport that is corrupted. It seemed that this Tour was one of the cleanest. But it looks like it wasn't 100 percent. There will always be someone who will not comply with the rules. I wanted to believe that Floyd wasn't one of these."

Of course, it could all be very simple. By 5pm tomorrow, we'll know.

Overall, I haven't seen considerable scoring yet for the Landis side to overcome / refute the positivity of the samples. Yes, errors were made and rules were violated, but is that enough ? TBV also says that "strategically, Landis must assume the B's will remain; nevertheless, this seems not to concern them. They still seem confident in the hall.". Isn't that called "gallows humor" ? One of the approaches to overcome the positive samples, is to "demonstrate how the pieces [ISL violations, errors during IRMS processing] fit together to show systemic problems that invalidates all the IRMS results.". This is the tough part I'd say; what does the defense still have up their sleeves ?

Malibu, Day 3

Day 3. Today first on the agenda: cross-examination of Ms. Mongongu. A few people commented yesterday on the fact that while she is not supposed to know whose sample she's analyzing, she did answer with "Yes" to the question whether she followed the quality control standard procedures while testing Floyd Landis' A sample. When I viewed the video, Ms. Mongongu rather acknowledged that she worked on that analytical file with sample number 995474, and not that it was Landis' file; secondly, by the time the hearing started, she must have known , that 995474 = Landis. And she really wasn't aware of that actual fact until last weekend ? Whether or not there's anything to it, Maurice Suh will certainly find out this morning.

The hearing has started, live feed works, DPF is up, what more can you ask for ?

10:50am, time for a recess, coffee, bagels, donuts, and grass and leaves for the kangaroos. It was astonishing to hear that Ms. Mongongu could remember details what she did with the flacon after the IRMS analysis at 11:25am on 7/22, but not anything about how often the IRMS had to be repaired since 2003.

After the recess, Jacobs continued, and now Suh has taken over in questioning Mongongu. Meanwhile, Le Monde reported that "the International Tennis Federation has dropped the LNDD as its drug testing lab for the French Open at Roland-Garros, in favor of the lab in Montreal."

5:20pm now. I couldn't attend most of the afternoon, and by the time I got back, Campbell was questioning Ms. Mongongu.

Tomorrow's witness: Greg Lemond, among others.
Scheduled: 8:30am-5pm.
5:23pm, hearing adjourned.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Malibu, Day 2

This is Day 2 of the Floyd Landis / USADA hearing at Pepperdine University. The hearing just resumed this morning with Dr. Brenna's cross examination by Maurice Suh, Landis' lawyer.

Until now, we haven't received new access information for the Live Feed from the courtroom. Courtroomconnect.com told me that there are "technical reasons through their site. The issue is that our servers can't accommodate a mass quantity of concurrent users. Rather, we are providing unique usernames and passwords to control the flow of traffic."

DPF has also been down at least since 9am this morning; server "Stephanie" is down:

It looks like our server "Stephanie" is getting a heart transplant and is in surgery at the moment. We will in all likelihood lose a few hours of messages back to the latest backup.

In Malibu, after a recess, Cynthia Mongongu from the LNDD is now on the stand. And now is lunch time. The video from this morning's session is now available.

The afternoon session has started and questioning Cynthia Mongongu has resumed, but it didn't take long until the hearing was adjourned until 2pm in order find another interpreter.

This is a slow day and they had a long lunch. While there is video from yesterday worth 6:49 hours, this morning's session just lasted 1:55 hours.

About 2:30pm, the hearing resumed. TBV and Hue have switched roles in their coverage; seems they're going over lab procedures now. DPF is still down, for now more than 6 hours. Nobody ever considers an Internet forum running MySQL as mission-critical; if there were no Landis hearing coverage to follow, we all wouldn't know what to do with all this free time.

The day in Malibu was wrapped up with USADA still "working on" Ms. Mongongu, so the cross-examination will happen tomorrow. Looking forward to it; I think I'm a Maurice Suh fan now. In the end, they got a 5:06 hour afternoon done, and with that slow start in the morning, still a 7-hour workday.

Surprises today:
"Brenna acknowledged, for example, that in several experimental test runs the lab had failed to reproduce its analytical results with scientifically acceptable precision.

He also acknowledged that documents produced by the lab showed that records relevant to the Landis case had been deliberately deleted."

Hopefully DPF and the live feed will work again tomorrow, but considering the ticker-like reporting by TBV, you almost don't need video.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Malibu, Day 1

Here's just a extreme brief summary from today's proceedings, as there is extremely good coverage by TBV and his team, including Bill Hue. The Floyd Landis hearing was just adjourned a few minutes ago until tomorrow morning. After the opening statements this morning from Richard Young, Howard Jacobs and Maurice Suh, USADA called their first witnesses, Dr. Cedric Shackleton from the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and Dr. J. T. Brenna from Cornell University. Both witnesses were also cross-examined by Landis' lawyers. Suh raised a few issues, for example that the measurement of the internal standard was out of range in a few cases, but nothing that would tend to exonerate Landis. We also got to see that 4 out of the 7 tested B samples showed values of -4.6 and lower for 5-alpha-diol. How will Landis' team explain those ? Overall, it is a very fair hearing so far, nothing what was feared:

USADA calls surprise witness, Mr. Richard Pound.

"Call me Dick."
"Mr. Pound, did Floyd Landis dope?"
"Yes he did."
"No further questions…"

Courtesy 'MyTooSense'

Watch out for the Kangaroos

T Minus ZERO: it is Monday, May 14. The Floyd Landis Kanga^H^H^H^H^Hhearing starts in less than 90 minutes at Pepperdine University in Malibu.

The first pictures are in from my correspondent down in SoCal:

Brunet on his way to Pepperdine University, in an apparent attempt to make (and look) good for his "lapse of judgement" last week.


A couple of unidentified and disguised Floyd Landis supporters trying to sneak past security to the USADA's secret conference rooms.


Expect more news as they become available over the course of today.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sun, May 13

Today's ride was more or less a repeat of last Sunday's tour. After flying down Pierce Rd in Saratoga, I turned south this time towards Saratoga Historic Downtown, and then onto Highway 9 West which meets Pierce Rd again at its southern end. On the next loop, I went up the steep hill off Highway 9 to Hakone Gardens, where parts of "Memoirs of a Geisha" were filmed. After a third fly-down on Pierce Rd and a stop at Togos in Saratoga, I headed back. Struggling a bit on the final few miles on Canada Rd, I was passed by a female cyclist who was just about to complete a 105-mile ride. We hung on to each other to make the final couple of miles. Total mileage today: 75. Next Sunday is the moment of truth: the Monticello Century.

2007 riding stats: #of rides: 32, annual mileage: 1171, pace: 3213

Saturday, May 12, 2007

ASO changing history

The World News Australia reports:

Last year's Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is to have his name removed from the official list of Tour winners, the race director says.

"For us Floyd Landis is not the winner of the Tour de France 2006," Christian Prudhomme told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung.

I'm past the point of getting outraged about such ridiculous comments. This is yet another foot-in-the-mouth moment of an official in the profession of cycling. Prudhomme should feel embarrassed, and should remember that he will be forgotten before anyone else.

Apparently, the cycling underground already reacted to Prudhomme's comment, and has started erasing him from the Internet. Here's an original image ...


... and the one that you'll find when googling M. Prudhomme:


Bon chance!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bombshell Thursday

In today's press conference by the Landis team, just 4 days before the fireworks really go off in Malibu, the proclaimed bombshell was that USADA had offered Floyd Landis's lawyer Howard Jacobs a deal in form of a mild sentence for Floyd, when Landis can provide evidence that leads USADA to a doping conviction of Lance Armstrong. I was sure I heard about a deal being offered to Landis before, but this revelation just shines new but bad light on USADA's tactics. Landis said today that he didn't consider this a serious offer at the time, probably therefore this topic has not made the headlines again until today.
The other interesting news that Henson mentioned was that the Landis camp is petitioning the IOC to censure Pound for his defamatory remarks about Landis in the past 10 months. Not only had Lance Armstrong pursued the same venue successfully, but let's also recap the defamation charges brought against Pound by the former Austrian cross-country coach Walter Mayer; Meyer though dropped the case a bit later.
The magnifying glass is now even more focussed on USADA, especially after Tuesday's news that Campbell was excluded from deliberations of the panel. More bad shine, and the object is burned under the glass.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tue, May 8

The French Anti-Doping organization (AFLD) has now reportedly validated aspects of its testing procedures that were used in the Floyd Landis case. Pierre Bordry, head of the AFLD, declined to talk about the specific findings, which were sent directly to the Landis team.

Since L'Equipe still has not leaked any details (are they on vacation again?), I followed up with an old friend, and he sent me the following:

Cher Pommi,

comment as-tu ?

Ze AFLD has now validated all ze lab procedures wiss regards to Monsieur Landis' tests. Monsieur Bordry was not very forzecoming, so I zought I let you know what zey investigated and validated.

What zey found okay:

1. Ze lab coats are all bleached and pressed
2. Ze MS maschine is still running and zat is ze important thing
3. Ze backups are done every day onto 8" flupy disks, and Marcel, the son of our Femme de Ménage copies them on a CD for Monsieur Pound.

What zey didn't like:

1. Us having our déjeuner next to ze MS maschine (zey wondered what zeese spots on the keyboard were; Chantal had spilled some coca cola.
2. Deleting old data to make room for ze new version of "SPACE INVADERS" and "DOOM".
3. Zey said there is too much food in ze réfrigérateur; we should instead store the samples zere.

I will now leave mon boulot and ride my bicyclette to the Jardin du Tuileries; it is very hot in ze lab, because ze air condition has not been working for sree weeks.

A bientôt,
Ton ami.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Seis de Mayo

Did I miss something between Quatro and Seis ? Not intentionally, but yesterday was Cinco de Mayo. On that day in 1862, 4000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8000 at Puebla, Mexico. Some say that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's real Independence Day. Anyhow, Happy Belated Cinco de Mayo; after all, the partying is going on all weekend.

The day yesterday was more or less filled with yard and house work; in anticipation of the Century in two weeks, I planned to go on a longer ride today. At about 9:15am I left at Canada Rd and Highway 92, and rode down to Cupertino and through Stevens Creek Canyon. The stretch through Mt. Eden Rd and Pierce Rd back into Saratoga is beautiful. At about 1:30pm I was back where I started, with a mileage of 61. By then the temperatures must have reached the mid-80s. Since my goal was 70-80 miles, I went down to Woodside again and back, for a total of 76 miles. I couldn't imagine at that moment, having to ride another 24 miles to get to the Century distance; but I had a real nice nap after I got home.

2007 riding stats: #of rides: 31, annual mileage: 1096, pace: 3174

Friday, May 4, 2007

Quatro de Mayo

"Same brouhaha as last week ?"
"Same brouhaha as every week."

(inspired by "Dinner for One")

The week started out with a bang in the Floyd Landis case, just like the week before, and all has mellowed again; only at DPF, everyone chimes in as usual to analyze and speculate the bits of information we're fed. I'm curious what the breaking news will be between now and Monday morning ...

USADA's Tygart, in a VeloNews interview this week, made an important remark:

"All that we ask in any case, is that people reserve judgment until all the facts are known and both sides of the story have been heard. "
This statement serves as a reminder that we're mostly hearing and seeing only one side of the Landis saga, and that is from the Landis camp itself. USADA claims to not be able to comment on pending cases. Well, so be it. It's only another 10 days until May 14, the beginning of Floyd Landis' hearing at Pepperdine University, Malibu. Only then will we hopefully learn all the facts from both sides.

Others sub-title their blog "Training for my first Century", and this has now become my mantra for the next 2 weeks. A few colleagues and I plan to participate on May 20 in the Monticello Solano Century. So my plan until then is to ride twice during the week and go on 70-80 mile rides once on the weekend. The only thing that worries me .... is having to get up EARLY.

Finally, I have the June issue of the Bicycling magazine in my hands, after posters at DPF already talked about the Landis article in that edition a couple of weeks ago. Steve Madden, Editor in Chief, relives some S17 moments:
"After watching Floyd crack like a club rider the day before, it was, at first, thrilling to see him going for broke. Then it was amazing. Then inspiring."
Madden admits that he can't tell whether Floyd is guilty or not, but states that Landis is not being treated in a just way by the anti-doping system. I will now turn to my magazine. Over and out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dedicated to wILL

This post is dedicated to Will, resident Floyd Landis hater and owner of The Truth on Topix' Floyd-Landis forum. Will said the other day:

"LOL...and I am implying that "if the review finds the analysis/result invalid, then pigs will fly."

Yes, pigs fly; even over Baltimore.

Tue, May 1

What a week so far: 49 more riders implicated in Operación Puerto, LNDD mishandled Floyd Landis' data, Ivan Basso leaves Discovery, Jörg Jaksche and Tyler Hamilton first suspected to be suspended by Tinkoff ... what can we expect next ?

Rant wrote the other day:

"But Pound should consider this: Even though his term as czar will come to an end in about 6 months; historically, czars have been overthrown. How much abuse will athletes take before they revolt? If Dick Pound has his way, the revolution may come sooner."

Is this how the revolution will look like?