Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pierre Bordry Authenticates LNDD Whistle Blower Documents

Pierre Bordry of AFLD may have cleared up one more mystery in the Floyd Landis doping saga. According to Shane Stokes Pierre Bordry accuses Arnie Baker M.D., and Floyd Landis of hiring Kargus Consultants to hack computer files of LNDD to steal and publish confidential documents with the intention to discredit the Chatenay-Malabry accredited WADA laboratory. The French cyber crime police have linked an ISP address to Arnie Baker. These documents were later published on the Internet as part of the Floyd Landis wiki defense.

Under "Floyd Landis; What's Fair is Clear" Slide Show a summary by Arnie Baker M.D. of the so called "whistle blower documents", slides 42-47, can be found. On slide 42 Arnie Baker makes the statement:

"The documents in the following slides have been sent to me, multiple times, from whistle blowers. Although I cannot be certain of their authenticity, they appear genuine. I base the discussion that follows evaluating the substance of the letters. If the letters are fabricated, this discussion is moot."

The whistle blower letters document mis-identification of athlete test results and request that these documents be destroyed to prevent inquiries. If true, the contents of these letters would form a basis for WADA to revoke the accreditation of LNDD.

Most experts had considered the whistle blower documents to be forgeries. Pierre Bordry and the AFLD have confirmed their authenticity.

Pierre Bordry and the AFLD sent orders to Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker to appear in a hearing to explain what if any involvement thay may have had with Kargus Consultants and the infiltration of the LNDD computer network. Floyd Landis has not replied. Arnie Baker sent the AFLD an e-mail requesting information as to the length and duration of the interrogation and the expenses involved, but he did not agree to comply with the AFLD request for a personal appearance at the hearing.

Stephane Monard in a Le Monde article, makes this enigmatic statement.
"Judge Cassuto did not respond to Bakers e-mail. However, he asked Bordry to indicate the date and circumstances in which Floyd Landis could be formally informed of the number corresponding to the positive sample during the 2006 Tour de France."

"The number corresponding to the positive sample...?" Confused? I have no idea what this means. In the What's Fair is Clear slide show Arnie Baker shows numerous examples of mis-identification by LNDD of Floyd Landis in the Lab Document Package. Perhaps the judge is asking Pierre Bordry to explain the numerous errors, the "white out" page, who made the corrections and why they thought it necessary to violate WADA code that requires that all evidence is "irretrievably linked to the athlete."

Wishful thinking. Pierre Bordry is requesting an arrest warrant for the victim of LNDD's incompetence Floyd Landis, rather than arresting the true criminal, LNDD director Jacques de Ceaurriz. Instead of focusing on Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker AFLD should be more interested in prosecuting those responsible for the behavior outlined in the whistle blower documents since they are genuine. WADA should revoke LNDD's accreditation until the investigation is completed.

The AAA arbitrators made a mistake in their decision. They cited the white out page and other mis-identification of athlete forensic errors by LNDD in the Floyd Landis case as a possible basis to dismiss an adverse analytical finding in future if the errors were repeated. These athlete mis-identification errors as the whistle blower documents show have been a chronic problem at LNDD for some time, the AAA arbitrators should have punished LNDD and dismissed the Floyd Landis Adverse Analytical Finding.

The Tour of Utah has announced that team OUCH will participate. The team rosters have not been published yet but this is the one race I have been waiting for. To see my hero Floyd Landis race would be a dream come true. I just hope that when the Tour of Utah gets to Salt Lake City that Floyd Landis is not languishing in a French prison.

That would be the real disaster.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dope Free Giro d' Italia--So Far.

Twelve stages of the Giro d' Italia have been raced without one positive dope test.

The centenary Giro d' Italia has been spectacular so far with exceptions. Rabobank rider Pedro Horrillo lost control of his bike on a decent, went over a guard rail, and plummeted 250 feet into a ravine. Horrillo was airlifted from the accident sight by helicopter and flown to hospital. In spite of arriving at the hospital in a coma, with a broken femur, collapsed lung, and broken ribs, Pedro Horrillo has regained consciousness and is recovering in hospital.

American rider Christian Vande Velde suffered multiple fractures from an early Giro d' Italia stage accident and withdrew. Chris Horner pulled a muscle during a crash and withdrew. Levi Leipheimer, road rash, is still racing.

During the Giro d' Italia Stage 10 Milano Show 100 the peloton decided that the course was unsafe to ride. After racing at a fifteen mile/hour pace for four laps of the circuit, maglia rosa Danilo Di Luca stopped the peloton and addressed the astounded fans. "We have deemed the course conditions unsafe. We hope you will understand." The peloton complained of cars along the course and sections where the riders encountered oncoming traffic. The Milano Show 100 continued at a faster pace dominated by the sprint teams after the brief "work stoppage" intermission, however. British sprinter Mark Cavendish won a meaningless stage and was awarded no sprint points. All 190 riders were awarded the same time.

Danilo Di Luca insists that the peloton had an agreement to let a Rabobank rider cross the line first to honor Pedro Horrillo but that the stage was hijacked by the sprint teams.

RCS Sport leader Angelo Zomegnan exploded with rage over the Milano Show 100 antics. Zomegnan complained that the "elder riders" of the group had deliberately sabotaged the stage because they did not want to exert the necessary effort to compete. Zomegnan stated that the Milano Show 100 course was very technical with turns that would require the riders to "get their butts out of the saddle." "For one hundred years the Milano 100 has been raced without complaint from the riders" exclaimed an exasperated Zomegnan. "The fans will not forget this outrage." In a contrite move after reflection, Danilo Di Luca and Lance Armstrong apologised to racing fans over the incident.

But Lance Armstrong also insisted that it is time for a organization with teeth to represent rider concerns. Grand Tour courses have always had bad designs. Turns 300 meters from the finish line on flat stages may make great television drama. But when three sprint trains wind up side by side in pouring rain reaching speeds up to 60km/hour; a turn more often than not results in a disaster. 100 Giro d' Italia years of spilt blood is proof of this assertion. The riders should have some input in course design. Ending the race before the turn will not diminish the race; fans don't want to see a bloody mess with career ending injuries; they want to see a good lead out and sprint.

But would a rider organization end the despotic rule of private entities that own European Grand Tours? If a rider representative could influence Grand Tour decision making would this end the petty tyrannies of people like Christian Prudhomme and Angelo Zomegnan?

Christian Prudhomme has once again shown his arbitrary reasoning by banning Tom Boonen from the Tour de France for the second straight year. Tom Boonen has a bad habit of attending raves where big fat lines of powder cocaine can be snorted. Or raves where crack cocaine can be rolled into "eight balls" and smoked, shot up, skin popped, or used as a suppository. After all there is no prohibition against out-of-competition use of cocaine for recreational use. Party on dudes! Christian Prudhomme is trying to punish Tom Boonen for a non-existent crime for excluding him from the Tour de France. And Pat McQuaid wants to punish Tom Boonen under some lame UCI rule number with seventeen decimal points. Pat McQuaid has proclaimed that Tom Boonen has "done something that results in harm to the UCI." Constant cocaine use would fit this obscure rule, obviously. The UCI rule could be applied to Pat McQuaid as well for his dunderhead behavior and statements over the years. Christian Prudhomme and Angelo Zomegnan could also be banished under the same rule. The riders need some sort of organization to safeguard their interests as Lance Armstrong has suggested. The sooner the better.

Lance Armstrong has suddenly banned the tifosi and Italian media and refused all requests for comment after the tifosi and Italian media tried to infer that Lance Armstrong was the ring leader of the Milano Show 100 protest.

How about those uniforms worn former Astana team riders during the Giro d' Italia? Gone is the word Astana, looks like someone got carried away with the bleach bottle. Unfortunately, someone forgot to paint out the word Astana on the team bus. Pat McQuaid announced that Astana had not paid the $2 million UCI Pro Tour fee to guarantee rider salaries. Apparently, Astana has not paid the riders for some weeks. Pat McQuaid set a deadline of May 31, 2009 for the full payment of the fees by Astana or the UCI may yank Astana's Pro Tour license. Imagine all of the current Astana riders with no contracts, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Alberto Contador, Andreas Kloden (if Kloden is not busted over the Human plasma affair) and Chris Horner. All of these riders suddenly available for the Tour de France at the same time? Impossible? No.

Enjoy the rest of the Giro d' Italia everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Drug Free Giro d' Italia?

The centenary Giro d' Italia is slated to run from May 9-31, 2009. Everyone should be stoked as the Giro d' Italia is one of the paramount Grand Tours. Unfortunately, in cycling, great events have to be mired in senseless politics. RCS sport director Angelo Zomegnan slighted Italian national road race champion Filippo Simeoni and his Ceramica Flaminia Bossini Docce team with a non-invite to the Giro d' Italia. In response Filippo Simeoni ran his national champion jersey through the shredder and returned it in a box to the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI).

One thing that will not happen during the 2009 Giro d' Italia is a Filippo Simeoni escape with an enraged 'le patron' Lance Armstrong bridging the gap and ordering Simeoni to return to the peloton, or else! This odd incident happened in the 2004 Tour de France. Filippo Simeoni claimed that Lance Armstrong "threatened him" in retaliation for comments Simeoni made about the relationship Armstrong had with Dr. Michele Ferrari. Filippo Simeoni accused Dr. Michele Ferrari of giving Lance Armstrong recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO). Dr. Ferrari once famously made the statement that "rEPO used properly was no more dangerous than orange juice." Dr. Michele Farrari was convicted in an Italian court for doping cyclists. But Lance Armstrong always insisted that his relationship with Michele Farrari consisted of nothing more than mundane consultations on parameters of athletic performance quite common among professional cyclists. Lance Armstrong has always denied that Michele Ferrari ever gave him any prohibited substances.

Something else that won't happen in the 2009 Giro d' Italia; a Marco Pantani like hematocrit reading of 60%. The days of free for all doping where riders carried around thermos bottles full of ice and vials of rEPO are over. Doping with rEPO has become much more sophisticated. Riders now use micro doses of EPO that in many cases escape detection by modern laboratory tests. Modern riders (doctors) have few problems keeping total hematocrit levels below the 50% threshold level that is deemed unsafe by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Even so, the odds of a positive test free 2009 Giro d' Italia are astronomical. Someone will roll the dice and lose, that is certain. We have the usual suspects that will not test positive. Lance Armstrong is promoting Livestrong he won't risk a positive test, no matter what Pierre Bordry and AFLD think. Saint David Millar will not test positive either, in spite of his past rEPO use. Millar is a spokesman of the anti-doping crusade. Saint Ivan Basso will ride clean as a whistle, he has confessed and repented his former Operation Puerto blood manipulation schemes to become the supra lab rat. Besides, the entire Italian nation is counting on Ivan Basso to win the Giro d' Italia over American rivals Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer.

No the sucker who tests positive for a prohibited substance will be a stage winner or time trial winner or random rider.

The centenary Giro d' Italia will degenerate into more discussions on doping. The race will be ruined.

Life will go on. Until the next positive test for PEDs, probably during the 2009 Tour de France.