Saturday, July 28, 2012

All Hail USADA CEO Comrade Travis T. Tygart!

 Comrades! The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the soviet organ of a million false negative tests, has filed a "non-analytical positive" accusation against seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong based solely upon denunciations of former teammates and these denunciations cannot be supported by a shred of scientific evidence!  This concept, the unprovable denunciation, is certainly Orwellian, Kafkaesque. Comrade Joseph Stalin would certainly approve of the tactics of Comrade Travis T. Tygart!  After being anonymously denounced by former teammates, the athlete K. is mysteriously arrested by USADA agents then sent to the USADA interrogator. Confess!  If you refuse to confess you automatically waive your the statutes of limitations rights!  The current USADA action against Lance Armstrong  has an eerie resemblance to an episode in  Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago.  Citizens during the Joseph Stalin regime were imprisoned based upon anonymous denunciations under Article 58, an amorphous collection of infractions that could be applied to any definition of political dissident, and sentenced to hard labor for twenty five years without trial or right of appeal.  The sentences given out under Article 58 were euphemistically parodied by the prisoners as twenty five rouble notes.  

Note the similarities between doping arbitration and the Stalin soviet model.  USADA is considered a private entity even though it receives federal funding and is allowed to participate in Federal probes of possible criminal misuse of federal money to traffic dope.  USADA is allowed to fully collaborate with agents of Interpol, and is allowed to share intelligence with French and Italian anti-doping officials in concert with "U.S. Special Prosecutor Jeff Novitzky, Federal Prosecutor Doug Miller, his co-counsel Mark Williams and FBI Special Agent Olivier Farable."  Nevertheless, even though USADA acted in the capacity of a state actor Travis T. Tygart insists that USADA is private entity and is therefore exempt from the protections afforded to defendants under the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  And since the action taken against athletes is considered a civil action and not a criminal action, arbitration is a perfectly suitable method for adjudication, a trial is unnecessary, comfortable satisfaction is suitable, beyond a reasonable doubt is unnecessary.  Also unnecessary, the requirement that the state present all of it's evidence in a preliminary hearing and that a judge make a determination whether to proceed to a trial.  Instead of a preliminary hearing where the state must present all of their evidence to an impartial judge USADA forces the defendant to present a blind response to a anti-doping review board that is controlled by USADA without any requirement by USADA to provide any evidence to the defendant.  Refusal by the defendant to supply a blind submission is construed as an agreement by the defendant to the charges outlined in a charging letter (note: at this stage of the process the athlete has not been charged with a "non analytical positive" that step comes after the anti-doping review board makes a determination to proceed with the case) within a specified number of days: this lack of response is considered a forfeit by the defendant, and an automatic lifetime suspension ensues at the discretion of USADA.

Other U.S. Constitutional Rights that do not apply under doping arbitration.

-The right to a speedy trial.
-The right to an attorney. If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided by the state.
-A right to examine witnesses.
-A right to be judged by a jury of your peers.
-A right not to be compelled to incriminate yourself.
-Discovery.  The state is compelled to release all incriminating evidence for examination to the defense.
-The state must prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt.
-A public trial.  No private Court of Arbitration of Sport Star Chamber Proceedings.
-A transcript of trial testimony must be available for public inspection.
-A statute of limitations.  The state does not have an indefinite amount of time to prosecute a case.
-Due process.  The rules of procedure are written in stone, established by precedent, and not subject to manipulation at the whim of the prosecution.

It is impossible to believe that these simple protections offered to the citizens of the United States of America are denied to athletes in doping arbitration.  Kangaroo courts, star chamber proceedings, lettres de cachet, are exactly the type of legal abuse that the great founders of America tried to prevent, not encourage!  If Thomas Jefferson witnessed a doping arbitration hearing presided over by a tribunal he would roll over in his grave, and he would certainly lament this insidious deterioration of American values and freedom we have been experiencing in this country lately. In America we used to be appalled and disgusted with Soviet style justice, we used to laugh and jeer at the "pinko commie fags."  Nowadays, we commend the fascist tribunals who destroy the lives of athletes, based on denunciations, without any scientific proofs.  Denunciations have replaced science!  This sets a bad precedent and it will result in an ever expanding abuse of justice.

 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Frank Schleck: Saboteur

Frank Schleck set off an atomic blast when he tested positive for the diuretic xipamide. Of course, as expected, Radio Shack proclaimed in a predictable tone of innocence that the team did not prescribe such prohibited substances to riders. Thus now that the "B" sample has confirmed the "A" sample, Frank Schleck will be fired by the team and then left to drift all alone in the wind.  Teams, as opposed to riders, teams are not held to a strict liability standard when it comes to doping offenses.  But it is a sensible supposition to conclude that a rider cannot succeed in doping without some kind of professional medical help.

Deja vu, all over again.  Frank Schleck claims to have been poisoned.  Alberto Contador claimed that he was poisoned with a clenbuterol tainted stake served during a rest day meal, a preposterous claim considering that residues consistent with blood transfusion equipment was also found in his blood.  But it is suggestive, Frank Schleck may have received a tainted blood transfusion that contained xipamide from earlier training rides, or worse he may have been using xipamide to mask other performance enhancing drug use either in training or during the Tour de France.

Is The UCI Biological Passport Worth a Bucket of Warm Spit?

Bradley Wiggins was strongly advised by his doctors not to release his UCI biological passport data to the public. There are too many variables, human physiology is not constant, life and grand tour races are not laboratory settings where the variance of intervening variables can be measured and accounted for.  Therefore, Bradley Wiggins was advised not to release his UCI biological passport data because cynics could make a case out of random variations that might suggest performance enhancing substance use.  As a matter of fact a case of doping based upon random physiological variations in UCI biological passport data could be applied to every member of the peloton.  Conclusion:  The UCI biological passport is not worth a bucket of warm spit: it is an expensive boondoggle, it could be erroneously applied as a substitute for a conclusive laboratory test, considered "overwhelming evidence" of performance enhancing substance use, and considered more accurate than a failed laboratory test in determining the outcome of an arbitration award.

 WADA, USADA, and Jeff Novitzky collusion against Lance Armstrong?

The Associated Press reported on February 7, 2012 that federal prosecutors requested information relevant to the then ongoing Lance Armstrong doping investigation from the World Anti Doing Agency (WADA).   It was reported that John Fahey and David Howman assured Jeff Novitzky full cooperation in providing all existing testing intelligence compiled on Lance Armstrong.  WADA also assured Jeff Novitzky that there were existing Lance Armstrong samples available for further testing upon request. In the article David Howman also mentions waiving the statutes of limitations for Lance Armstrong using the Eddy Hellebuyck precedent.  Of course, they were expecting the secret Federal Grand Jury to return a criminal indictment against Lance Armstrong.  But if a criminal complaint were not forthcoming WADA [working together with Federal Prosecutors and USADA?] developed a contingency plan; USADA could file a "non analytical positive" civil complaint based upon testimony of ex-U.S. Postal and Discovery channel teammates that could be arbitrated. Thus the argument presented by Lance Armstrong attorneys to U.S. District Judge Sam Spears that USADA may have acted as a "state actor" in concert with United States Federal Prosecutors may have merit.

If the Lance Armstrong submittal  may be dismissed at the request of USADA and if U.S. District Judge Sam Spears agrees, then all arguments as to jurisdiction and complicity will be resolved once and for all.

Until then we wait with baited breath.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lance Armstrong Doping: Comedy of Errors

Stupid race predictions based upon irrational thought processes result in lost wages and a boon for the casinos.  Cadel Evans the iron horse cracked on the col and had to be paced to the finish by his teammate Tejay Van garderen.  Meanwhile, Bradley Wiggins and astoundingly, his Sky Procycling teammate Christopher Froome are one two in the overall general classification.  Already, even before the finish of the race, the haters and doubters have emerged, accusing Bradley Wiggins and Sky Procycling of being the "British" U.S. Postal Team.

Of course Bradley Wiggins, in a profanity laced tirade blamed the press for inventing doping allegations, citing his numerous passed drug tests and his hard work.  Big deal.  Lance Armstrong used the same arguments, his perfect test results and his hard work ethic to explain his phenomenal seven year reign, all to no avail, as the USADA has contrived an outrageous conspiracy theory based not upon science, but upon the testimony of convicted dopers and proven liars.

 Goes with the territory.  You win a Tour de France and immediately everyone questions your integrity.

3 Associates of Armstrong Receive Bans.  Juliet Macur correspondent of the New York Times is a very responsible journalist, but what ever happened to the dollar newspaper?  Luis Garcia del Moral, team doctor, USPS.  Michele Farrari, doctor blood, banned.  Pepi Marti, trainer, banned.  These people did not respond to the USADA charging letter and were subsequently banned for life from Olympic competitions.
Without a hearing or a trial either, but who among USADA cares for due process?

As the deadline approached for Lance Armstrong to decide to accept the USADA charges or march to arbitration Lance Armstrong filed a lawsuit against the USADA.  The filing contains an incredible amount of outrageous charges against the USADA that is phrased as a lampoon in the most hilarious style and will elicit uncontrollable laughter and streams of tears.  But U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks failed to appreciate the humor.  In a stinging dismissal Judge Sparks accused Armstrong not only of improper format and irrelevancies but even worse of "vilification of Defendants."  Judge Sparks did not dismiss the case on the merits of the legal arguments and invited Lance Armstrong to re-submit his argument within twenty days minus the breach of etiquette.  Immediately, Lance Armstrong filed a version with a much more serious tone.  USADA then gave Lance Armstrong a thirty day extension to respond to the charging letter in consideration of a expected ruling by Judge Sparks.

But this is certainly not the end of the affair.  Representative James Sensenbrenner is questioning why United States taxpayers are funding USADA.

Here is the blood values for Herr Armstrong.  Are they conclusive proof of blood doping and rEPO use as alleged by USADA?  You make the call.

Conclusion:  Here a tantalizing snippet to consider.  Tygart claims that he has "overwhelming evidence" to support his claims, that Lance Armstrong was flying under the radar, that the science was junk and the tests meaningless, because of the sophisticated masking techniques employed by Michele Ferrari.  Alas these arguments do have some merit.  Let us examine the olive oil, testosterone concoction allegedly developed by Michele Ferrari.  This very basic and simple method of administering drugs to patients called a muscle depot injections.  With muscle depot injections the drug is absorbed into the muscle making the drug very long lasting and slow to metabolize. If the bladder was flushed out with multiple water bottles during a very difficult or hot stage, this could prevent a testosterone "spike," and without a "spike" above 4:1 there is no need to conduct a carbon isotope ratio test.  Thus it is possible to fly below the radar.  But not for fourteen years of team doping with multiple performance enhancing substances.  Not for fifty six riders on seven Tour de France championship teams, none of whom ever tested positive.  No.  If based on the science and the test results there is overwhelming evidence of non-doping among the United States Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. Not the contrary as alleged by USADA.  Lack of scientific evidence of doping cannot be replaced by demented confabulations of convicted dopers who are also proven liars.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bradley Wiggins Will Not Win the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins will not win the Tour de France.  Although Bradley Wiggins is an immensely gifted rider and  Britians greatest hope, he is accident prone and unstable on the mountain stages, prone to falter at critical moments.  Frank Schleck was caught behind in an unfortunate crash and lost two minutes.  Alejandro Valverde suffered the same fate.  Has Schleck and Valverde been eliminated from the race even before the mountain stages? Frank Schleck is an immensely gifted rider and he may make up time on Wiggins in the mountains, but there is still Samuel Sanchez and defending champion Cadel Evans to contend with.  There will be little if any making up of time on Sanchez or Evans on the mountain stages or in the time trials.  Andy Schleck suffered a spinal injury during a classic race, rode an extremely poor time trial, and is certainly out of contention.  Ivan Basso, the perpetual contender is still active, but he is aging and he does not have the same pizazz of yore, when he and Lance Armstrong used to contend stage wins on the cols.  Basso may make the podium, but the chances are remote, so don't bet the sport book.  Levi Leipheimer is also immensely gifted, good in all facets, but prone like Bradley Wiggins to fail at critical moments. At times Levi Leipheimer is prone to inexplicably bad cycling skills and crashes, which diminish his chances of success.  Always a contender Leipheimer will not make the podium this year.  Andreas Kloden, is another timeless competitor who has had varied success over the years. Andreas Kloden could possibly make the podium depending upon his team support, but like Ivan Basso the legs have a million miles and the VO2max has declined with age.  Expect Andreas Kloden to finish in the top ten.  The podium is difficult to predict and if it were not for Frank Schleck being caught behind a crash I would have predicted him to win the 2012 Tour de France, with Cadel Evans second, and perhaps Samuel Sanchez third.  But now?  Pick a card and hope for the best.  Bradley Wiggins, in spite of his natural gifts as a cyclist, will finish off the podium, probably forth or fifth.

Shifting Gears: Why are USADA's Stool Pigeons Allowed to Participate in the 2012 Tour de France?

During the early stages of the tour, the roads of France has been spattered with cyclist blood in an unusually large number of crashes.  But even worse than the crashes were the rumors circulated by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and the New York Times, from anonymous sources linked to USADA and the Jeff Novitzky secret grand jury investigation of Lance Armstrong, that former teammates of Lance Armstrong are scheduled to testify against Lance Armstrong on behalf of USADA concerning an alleged conspiracy of organized and systematic performance drug trafficking within the United States Postal Professional Cycling Team, Team Discovery Channel, Team Astana, and Team Radio Shack.  Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel are accused of drug trafficking and distribution of performance enhancing drugs among the aforementioned teams for a period of fourteen years.  These charges were formulated upon e-mail messages sent from Floyd Landis to USA Cycling and from excerpts gathered from Tyler Hamilton on the news program 60 Minutes along with alleged statements made by former U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel teammates: George Hincapie, Jonathan Vaughters, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie, and Christian Vande Velde.

De Telegraff  and the New York Times claim that anonymous lawyers connected to USADA claim that during the grand jury testimony George Hincapie, Jonathan Vaughters, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie, and Christian Vande Velde all admitted, under oath of using performance enhancing drugs and that USADA offered sweetheart deals of shortened suspensions of six months that are to commence in September, 2012 in exchange for favorable testimony against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Dr. Michele Ferrari, and others listed in the USADA charging letter.

Of course, there was an immediate denial of any deal by George Hincapie and Garmin Slipstream sport director Jonathan Vaughters.  George Hincapie merely stated that he felt sorry for Lance Armstrong his old friend and allay.  Jonathan Vaughters claimed that these speculations did not have any thing to do with him, Garmin or Slipstream.

The denials of involvement with any sweetheart deal with USADA is understandable and these sorts of rumors should be staunched at the source to prevent what Travis T. Tygart calls "possible witness intimidation."  Unfortunately the source of the leaks of information comes directly from lawyers who have insider information that is not included in the "public domain."  USADA is directly responsible for the lawyers who leaked witness information to the press are legally culpable if legal action is to ensue because identities of witnesses who appear before secret grand juries are protected by law and testimonies derived from these witnesses are protected by law, and violators of this sacred trust will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Ahem, yes.  But in the meantime these Judas Iscariot types who are willing to sell their very souls for thirty pieces of silver, these USADA stool pigeons who are willing to present to Travis Tygart on a silver platter the head of Lance Armstrong, cretins who are allowed to participate in the 2012 Tour de France unmolested as if they admitted to nothing and testified to nothing. Why this reflects an overt mockery of the anti-doping agenda and this form of hypocrisy cannot be tolerated. After all Micheal Rassmussen was fired by Rabobank for failing to report his whereabouts to the UCI when it was obvious that he was about to win the Tour de France!  But, today, in 2012, we have men who are allowed to compete in the Tour de France, who are admitted dopers!  Men who have not been punished for their crimes, men who are not suspended or sanctioned.  Very well, if Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie, George Hincapie, and Christian Vande Velde have admitted to performance enhancing substance use let them do the only right and honorable thing: resign  from the 2012 Tour de France in disgrace the same way they resigned from participation in the Olympic games.

The the real nightmare will begin and we can all start feeling sorry for George Hincapie who will be relentlessly hounded with "non-analytical positives" for every year he assisted Lance Armstrong to a Tour de France title, shamed into bankruptcy by the relentless pursuit of USADA, and exempt from the statute of limitations...a fate I would not wish upon by worst enemy.  So much for the beloved all American apple pie kid we all used to admire.