Saturday, June 30, 2012

USADA: Abuse of Power

The USADA doping review panel has formally charged Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Dr. Luis Garcia Del Moral, Dr. Pedro Celaya, and Dr. Michele Ferrari, of the accusations contained in the USADA charging letter. The vote of the three panel anti-doping review board was unanimous.  Unfortunately, a very unsavory incident occurred.  Asked to respond to the anti-doping review board decision Clark Griffith stated in the most flippant, arrogant, and cavalier way, "I can't wait for an arbitrator to see this evidence."  This would have been bad enough, but to add gasoline to the flames, Lance Armstrong tweeted a link to a news article that alleges Clark Griffith plead no contest to a charge of exposing himself to a twenty four year old young lady.  Clark Griffith, declared Lance Armstrong in his tweet, is the sort of garbage that USADA employees to consider relevant evidence pertaining to my case and the arguments outlined in my mandatory response to the USADA charging letter.

It is difficult to maintain that the USADA anti-doping review board took Lance Armstrong's response seriously.  But Robert Luskin outlined practices of USADA that could be construed as violations of Federal Law.  Improper use of secret Federal grand jury testimony. Bribery, threats, and cajolery of witnesses in an attempt to manipulate witness testimony to favor the prosecution.  Threats and coercion of arbitrators. Example: backroom assurances by USADA that if the neutral arbitrator does not agree with the USADA position; termination.  Do you recall Shyman Das?  A refusal on the part of USADA to reveal either UCI or WADA expert witness testimony that the recorded blood values given to Lance Armstrong as evidence reflect a consistent use of recombinant erythropoietin or blood manipulation and not normal blood variations that could be expected in an elite cyclist.  After all, Lance Armstrong posted all of his test results on his website Livestrong and it is almost a certainty that though these test results were scrutinized by millions of Lance haters, but there were no accusations of indications of doping, because if there was even a smidgen of evidence the haters would have declared something untoward, and there would have been an unending series of caricatures and bad Internet lampoons.  Robert Luskin also demanded to know the specific names of the specific witnesses with their contact information, that pertained to the individual charges outlined in the USADA charging letter.  Example: the name of the witnesses who claimed they saw Dr. Del Moral, Dr. Pedro Celaya, and Dr. Ferrari administer rEPO injections, dates, times, persons injected, and any other pertinent relevant information.  There are more issues in the Lance Armstrong response, but you can peruse the letter for yourselves and draw your own conclusions as to the potential legal implications.

Then there is the assertion by USADA that the eight year statute of limitations can be waved because Lance Armstrong, instead of confessing to use and abuse of performance enhancing drugs, lied under oath.  This claims USADA makes the Hellebuyck award applicable to Lance Armstrong.  But as Robert Luskin pointed out in his response, Hellebuyck admitted to perjury and it was understood by both Hellebuyck and USADA that he was an admitted perjurer and doper.  But Lance Armstrong has consistently maintained that he did not and has never doped ever in his career.  Lance Armstrong has never made an admission to doping nor has he confessed to using performance enhancing drugs.  So consequently the Hellebuyck waiver of the eight year statue of limitations does not apply to Lance Armstrong.

.Now that Lance Armstrong has been formally charged of a doping offense it would be expected that the identity of the witnesses who have written or spoken formal denunciations as to a systematic doping conspiracy at U.S. Postal Service, Discovery Channel, Astana, and Radio Shack will be released so that the Lance Armstrong defense will have an opportunity to interview these people, accumulate pertinent historical background information, etc.  The statement by USADA that the anti-doping review board expressed a concern that it was in the best interest of the witnesses to conceal their identities to those witnesses that were currently known to the public domain to prevent intimidation, is nonsensical and absurd.  It has been widely reported in the press that e-mails written by Floyd Landis to USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, and the 60 Minutes interview of Tyler Hamilton, are to be used as a bases of evidence to prove the conspiracy theory. There have been no reports of death threats against Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton.  There have been no reports of inappropriate contact or of witness intimidation against Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton.  So where is the justification of the concern for concealing their identities?

First there is the circus atmosphere then there is the theater of the absurd.  The anti-doping review board are the clowns who stick out their tongues at the defendants, who are so smug after so many of years of success; USADA never loses an arbitration case and when we are sued in Federal court we never lose, so come get us if you dare!  But there is a bridge too far gentlemen, a line one must not cross, USADA is dealing with a very high profile case, with a very popular athlete, and people are paying attention!  The absurd?  Having these mystery witnesses testify with from an distant room with their faces electronically scrambled and their voices electronically masked, to protect their identities!  Lance Armstrong and his defense team along with the spectators can play a game of guess the witness, with prizes for the first successful candidate!  Example: from the vitriolic statements of hate generated by this witness I will guess the bearded lady Betsy Andreu!  Correct!  Five points.  Next contestant.

Last point:  USADA wants to drag the old Tour de Suisse alleged rEPO positive from the grave as an example of a Lance Armstrong positive dope test, based upon the Tyler Hamilton 60 Minutes interview.  Tyler Hamilton claims that Lance Armstrong told him that he tested positive during the 2001 Tour de Suisse and that Lance Armstrong arranged to cover up the test result by offering a bribe in the form of a donation to the UCI and by contributing enough for WADA to buy some laboratory diagnostic equipment.  But the man in charge of the WADA accredited laboratory at Lausanne Dr. Saugy denied any positive test by Lance Armstrong during the 2001 Tour de Suisse, in fact Dr. Saugy insisted that he would never testify in court that the results he measured indicated a positive test.  Hein Verbruggen, former president of the UCI also denied any cover up or acceptance by the UCI of bribes in the form of donations by Lance Armstrong and he is suggesting possible legal action against Tyler Hamilton for making these outrageous statements.  It should be noted as an aside that Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid are suing Floyd Landis in a Swiss court for slander because Floyd Landis accused the UCI of falsifying test results to protect certain high profile cyclists.  Is USADA the next to be sued by the UCI because it accuses the UCI of cover up of a positive test and accepting bribes?  And if the UCI can sue Floyd Landis why not Lance Armstrong to sue USADA, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis after all of the dust clears?

I wanted to watch the Tour de France without all of these worthless doping distractions.  The timing of the official charges of doping against Lance Armstrong on the day of the Tour de France prologue seems no accident to me.  Now there will be endless discussions of dope, dope, dope!  Foo!  This stupid, idiotic, inquisitorial witch hunt just keeps on giving and stimulating the long dormant brain cells that I hoped would never be revived again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

USADA Demands Armstrong Answer to a Lettre de Cachet

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) a publicly funded entity domiciled in the United States of America, but apparently with extraterritorial rights, has written Lance Armstrong a lettre de cachet; and has demanded a written confession as to the charges contained therein by June 22, 2012.

Lettres de cachet were used during the ancien regime of France to arrest and detain people without trial. Lettres de cachet were signed by the King and countersigned by the Secretary of State and stamped with the signet seal of the King.  Lettres de cachet soon became an abused device by Peers of France in the King's favor to remove personal or political enemies, and lettres de cachet became highly abused in an arbitrary fashion under the reign of Louis XVI.  Lettres de cachet did not contain the charges levied against a person, nor the persons responsible for the accusations of wrongdoing, nor the duration of the detention.  People of high esteem or notoriety were detained in the Bastille prison near Paris, France.

King Tygart I of USADA applied his signet ring to the lettre de cachet containing a large and varied number of amorphous charges: use of recombinant EPO, illegal blood doping methods, and masking agents during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France.  These doping methods were allegedly discovered by the International Cycling Union (UCI) comparison of out-of-competition UCI Biological Passport baseline scores with values measured during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France.  Allegedly certain values were detected in the biological values during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France that suggests EPO use or illegal blood doping techniques.  The lettre de cachet also lists a long running conspiracy that alleges use of prohibited substances by Lance Armstrong and his teammates in an systematic and organized fashion to gain an unfair competitive advantage in order to win titles and prizes.  This conspiracy included  all of the cycling teams that Lance Armstrong competed with from 1998 to 2010, including U.S. Postal Service, Discovery Channel Team, Team Astana, and Team Radio Shack.

Lance Armstrong has complained that the lettre de cachet that USADA wrote does not contain the names of the riders who are to testify to the doping conspiracy charges.  USADA has refused to release the names even after repeated requests of the Armstrong defense team, and USADA claims that it is under no obligation to do so.  In this light it is impossible to understand how the Lance Armstrong defense team is to respond in a coherent and comprehensive fashion to the lettre de cachet.  But Lance Armstrong must respond or be charged by USADA with obstruction of justice.

There is more bad news that could give us a hint as to this witness list may be because George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, and Levi Leipheimer, all sent USA Cycling Corporate Executive Officer Steve Johnson e-mail requests to be taken out of the potential pool of participants for the 2012 London Olympic games.  Hincapie, Zabriskie, Leipheimer, and Vande Velde were also former U.S. Postal Lance Armstrong lieutenants and may be called to testify if the anti-doping review board decides to press formal charges.  According to Juliet Macur of the New York Times Hincapie has already admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and involvement in the alleged conspiracy.

King Tygart I has a good incentive for the prosecution witnesses to testify on behalf of USADA, a sweetheart deal of shortened duration of suspensions for cooperation with the government, but  cavaeat emptor. Why? What possibly could go wrong with the deal?  Well for one thing USADA has the habit of expanding power and lowering the bar of proof that the prosecution has to abide by.  First, an athlete had to fail a drug test.  Then, there emerged the "non analytical positive" or evidence derived from testimony of teammates, coaches, or others who witnessed the defendant using performance enhancing substances, methods or markers, etc, next emerged the UCI Biological Passport, and deviations in biological parameters that could be construed as consistent with doping.  The deviations from the baseline scores are suspicious and only require and up or down vote by a committee of experts to constitute threshold for doping.  The Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) has concluded that the judgment of the committee can be used as a bases for an adverse analytical finding (AAF) even in the absence of a conclusive positive test for a prohibited performance enhancing drug.  Thus even though Lance Armstrong did not test positive for a performance enhancing drug during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France he could still possibly be charged with an adverse analytical finding.  USADA can claim that Lance Armstrong and his doctors employed masking agents or other medical methods that defeated the testing, but that the residual trends and tendencies of his biological profile indicate doping, in spite of the success in defeating the laboratory test.  There is no defense an athlete could formulate that would prevail against a methods to defeat the testing logic.  But there is worse news, King Tygart I wants to suspend the time limit for the statute of limitations of eight years because of the infamous nature of the Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel alleged conspiracy to traffic dope to innocent teammates at the point of a gun, but beware all of you prosecution witnesses who admit to doping in the past, the waiver of the time limit may also apply to you. You may find yourselves deluded by the USADA sweetheart deal of partial immunity against prosecution and suspension and then suddenly find yourselves served with a lettre de cachet that deals with other years and other episodes that are not contained in your immunity agreement.  Remember, King Tygart I is trying to eliminate the statute of limitations altogether to remove another prosecution obstacle, and if he succeeds, he may still ban you from cycling forever in spite of your protests of USADA reneging.  Remember, USADA changes the rules at half time to ensure a USADA victory and a defeat for the defendant, and the goal of USADA is an ever expanding foundation of prosecutorial power, and a ever expanding horizon of arbitrary unfairness and injustice of the arbitration process.  So you better be careful willing prosecution witnesses that King Tygart I does not depose you too.  Geroge Hincapie announced that this is his last year and he will retire, but the rest of you should think about your future in cycling, because you may be missing more that merely the 2012 Olympic Games!

Last thought.  If there was a organized doping ring going on at Astana when Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel were with Astana, where are the biological deviations in the 2009 Tour de France biological tests from the out-of-competition UCI Biological Passport baseline scores for Alberto Contador, the man who won the 2009 Tour de France?  Does it not reason that Alberto Contador would have similar biological deviations if both riders were using the same drugs?  Is it logical to conclude that a clean Alberto Contador beat a doped Lance Armstrong who finished the race in third place on the podium?  USADA can't order an examination of Alberto Contador but the UCI or WADA can.  It is impossible to understand that with Alberto Contador's links to Operation Puerto , after the clenbuterol positive test, after the suspension and revocation of his 2010 Tour de France title, that the UCI and WADA still insist on protecting Alberto Contador.  Let's see his baseline and 2009 Tour de France test scores and compare them side by side with Lance Armstrong.  Then King Tygart I could be regarded as the indefatigable, untouchable, doping anti-crusader who deposed two doper cycling kings with a single dagger thrust!

Oh and by the way did not Alberto Contador get caught using performance enhancing drugs after Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel had left Astana and were working for Team Radio Shack?  Curious coincidence don't you think, but consistent with the Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Roberto Heras syndrome:  a man is promoted to team leader and starts to earn the big money, the positive drug tests, suspensions, and revocation of titles are soon to follow.  There may be organized, systematic doping going on here, but you can't blame Armstrong and Bryneel for that.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

USADA: An Open Letter to Lance Armstrong

Lance!  If you are guilty of using performance enhancing drugs during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France as alleged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confess now and spare us all the trouble!  We fans should be entitled not to have to endure another endless bout of litigation and pointless denials which end only in tearful confessions and accusations of doping by cycling teams and riders!

But!  If you are innocent you must convey this message to the Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB) with the simplest message.  "I am innocent."  Or "no data."  You do not need to get expansive with complaints that USADA has not been forthcoming with the evidence compiled against you.   The ADRB has had experience and first hand knowledge of the delaying tactics and subterfuge of Travis T. Tygart and USADA when it comes to releasing their evidence of doping to the accused.  When a formal complaint is filed against you then you will be provided the evidence USADA thinks is appropriate and nothing more.  If you insist upon further documents relevant to your case you will be expected to argue your request before an arbitration panel and the panel will have to rule in your favor before you can expect USADA to surrender any further documents for your perusal.

Lance!  I will bet you a plug nickel to a bucket of warm spit that the doping USADA alleges in their letter that you used during the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France, EPO,  human growth hormone, testosterone, transfused blood, and the plasma and saline injections used to mask drug use, are based upon physiological fluctuations that they found in your Tour de France tests that deviated from baseline data gathered from your UCI Biological Passport profile.  You should have expected this to happen with the fifty volumes of out-of-competition data they collected.  You should have known that they were compiling enough data to make a case against you.  Any fluctuation in a biological parameter that deviates from the norm of your profile could be conceivable considered as an indicator of doping activity, a slight increase in hematocrit levels when the levels are expected to decline at the end of a grueling two week stage race, for example.  The determination of whether these suspect hematocrit values indicate doping in the absence of a clear cut positive test result for rEPO or some other blood boosting prohibited drug is determined by a panel of experts who make a decision based upon trends and tendencies, hypothetical bunk and speculation, and general consensus of opinion.  The Court of Arbitration of Sport has accepted this "non-analytical positive" opinion as a basis to suspend riders in the past and this form of "non-analytical positive" finding is indefensible!  A negative test result for rEPO taken during the Tour de France will not exonerate you!  You will be accused of using micro doses of rEPO to defeat the tests!  If you used rEPO or any of the other performance enhancing substance during the 2009 or 2010 Tours de France, you have no excuse and you cannot be forgiven on the grounds of stupidity!  In any event, you should have known that they were collecting all of that UCI Biological Passport data and at the proper moment they were going to strike.  The Tour de France was that moment.  You were warned never to return to cycling, and you ignored the warnings. They have a vendetta against you according to your own statement, right?  They are suggesting a lifetime ban.  You will die and no one will weep over your corpse.  And you are to blame.  What could be more a more fitting punishment for a man who passed five hundred and fifty doping tests than to be tarred, feathered, and rode out of town on a rail?  People who hate your guts and who have accused you of doping for all of these years will be delighted with your demise.  You will be the new villain, non plus ultra,  and you will forever be enshrined forever in the cycling hall of shame.  

Lance!  Your attorney Robert D. Luskin is complaining about a lack of fairness of the process and a rush to judgment by USADA!  You and your attorney sound like beaten fighters waiting for the knock out blow.  There is no fairness in this process gentlemen.  Don't be deceived.  You have only two options.  The Ivan Basso option includes doing nothing and allowing USADA to prevail unchallenged.  You will lose the case but save all of your money.  The Floyd Landis option means spending millions of dollars in legal fees, paying for expert witnesses, etc.  You will lose the case and lose millions of dollars, but you might lay a foundation for a legal challenge.  In any event, if you are innocent, if you are wrongfully convicted of doping, you must file a legal challenge against USADA, WADA, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in open court on behalf of all athletes worldwide, you must serve as an international ambassador, you must strive to end this horrible ordeal of arbitrary, legally incontestable, "non analytical positive," comfortable satisfaction style of arbitration through lawfully legal means.

Lance!  If you are guilty of trafficking dope to your teammates on the U.S. Postal Professional Cycling Team, Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Team, Astana, or the Radio Shack Professional Cycling Team, confess right now!  Spare me the grief.  Indulge me.  Please.

But!  If you are innocent of these accusations you must stand your ground. The absurd nature of the USADA conspiracy charges sound like something out of a bad X-Files episode.  You should respond to the USADA charges thus: "We do not consider the testimony of drug addled, convicted dopers as 'evidence'."  Nothing more is needed because you do not want to give USADA a pretext to label you as a wealthy athlete who is willing to engage in obstructionist tactics to defeat a "clear non-analytical positive result."  Very non chic, this Travis T. Tygart with his descriptions of your egregious, infamous crimes.  Tygart is even willing to suspend the statute of limitations, USADA wants all seven of your titles Lance.  Do you understand?  USADA wants to parade your ex-teammates before an arbitration panel and claim that you forced them to do drugs and then threatened to murder them mafia style if they broke the sacred code of omerta.  Did you intimidate people?  Were you a bully?  Did you threaten to destroy the careers of people who wanted to expose your doping?  Are people like Greg and Kathy LeMond, Frankie and Betsy Andreu, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton telling lies?  Did people really see you injecting EPO and taking blood transfusions?  Did you really give Floyd and Tyler performance enhancing drugs when they rode for you as trusty lieutenants?  Or did people like Floyd and Tyler and Betsy and Frankie make up the whole thing because they loathed you and envied your success and talent?

Because, for all of those years that you were supposedly running some sort of shooting gallery in the team bus, not once in all of those years did a single teammate of yours test positive for performance enhancing drugs, and that includes Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton.  With all of the doping and distribution of performance enhancing drugs going on for all of those years as USADA alleges this fact seems incredible!  After all, when Tyler Hamilton joined Team Phonak as team leader he tested positive twice for having a double red cell population in his blood, first at the Olympic time trial race and later at the Tour of Spain 911 time trial race! Tyler Hamilton was suspended for two years, and was later forced to surrender his Olympic gold medal. And Floyd Landis who was riding for Team Phonak as team leader won the 2006 Tour de France and tested positive for synthetic testosterone and was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title and suspended for two years.  Obviously there was something contagious in the water at Phonak, but nothing that suggested organized, systematic team doping.  But USADA does not have time to investigate Phonak, they are too obsessed with Lance to care about Team Phonak.

Roberto Heras is another strange example.  Clean as a whistle, as was his U.S. Postal teammates, Heras won the Tour of Spain.  It was only after Roberto Heras left U.S. Postal and joined another cycling team that he tested positive for rEPO and was stripped of his title and suspended for two years.  Bizarre wouldn't you agree?

And star witness for the prosecution Frankie Andreu, the wife of Betsy Andreu the woman who loathes your soul more than any other person in the world, a woman who claims you corrupted her man with your nefarious persuasions, went to a pharmacy and purchased rEPO from a druggist on his own initiative and probably without the knowledge and permission of the director sportive, and competed in the 1999 Tour de France as your trusted lieutenant.  It is strange that Frankie Andreu needed to buy rEPO when, according to USADA, it was on tap at the team shooting gallery, is it not?  Even stranger is the reaction of queen Betsy who preferred to blame Lance for corrupting her man rather than her man taking responsibility for his own stupid behavior.  And old queen Betsy would have been better off saying nothing about you using performance enhancing drugs during the Motorola days because we could have always said that your incredible increase in performance post cancer was all due to performance enhancing drugs.  But that stupid dame Betsy made that assertion forever impossible when she claimed she overheard you giving a doctor a summary of your medical history that included past use of performance enhancing drugs.  rEPO before cancer rEPO after cancer, that cancels out and cannot be calculated as a factor in your incredible increase in endurance and performance post cancer, or the fact that Motorola you could not even complete a Tour de France let alone win seven in a row.
You will have a field day with that woman on the witness stand, no joke.

Your case may drag on indefinitely, but it of some interest to understand the psychology of  probable USADA star prosecution witness Tyler Hamilton.  Tyler Hamilton,  the depressed, destructive man who has the strangest cognitive reasoning imaginable.  Tyler Hamilton the chief accuser, the man who claimed on sixty minutes that "I doped because everyone was doing it."  First, this assertion that "everyone was doing it" is preposterous.  Everyone was not doing it!  Tyler Hamilton's statement can be verified by the number of Olympic time trial riders who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs during the time trial that Tyler Hamilton won.  One Olympic time trial rider tested positive for performance enhancing drug use, Tyler Hamilton.  The rest of the Olympic time trial riders tested clean.  Tyler Hamilton used dope because he was convinced that he had to use dope to keep pace with the pack or he would be left behind.  Hamilton also used dope because like all type A personalities he loved the money, he loved the accolades, he loved the laurels, he was avaricious, greedy, he wanted to be the man.  Tyler Hamilton, thought that Lance Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs to win races, that Lance Armstrong had the best drugs and the best drug doctors.  But nonetheless, even after being repeatedly warned by the UCI that certain irregularities existed in his blood samples Tyler Hamilton continued to receive blood transfusions probably under the delusional thinking that masking agents would ensure deception of detection.  He was caught at the Tour of Spain, he was suspended, he denied ever doping, he enlisted his groupies to corner people and shout in their ears to "Believe Tyler."  And would you believe it?  USADA expects us to believe Tyler again.  The Jeff Novitzky Federal investigation into doping by Lance Armstrong and his nefarious associates could not generate enough evidence of wrongdoing to convince a secret Federal grand jury to return an indictment, apparently they did not  "Believe Tyler."  Let us hope that an arbitration panel comes to the same conclusion.

Last comment.  Good old Greg LeMond, the man of endless accusations of Lance Armstong, the man who insisted that Lance Armstrong confess, to admit that he cheated, and to reform his doping ways.  Greg LeMond is another man of bizarre cognition, he thinks still to this day that he lost the 1991 Tour de France to Miguel Indurain, not because Indurain was a great five time Tour de France champion and the strongest rider of the 1991 Tour de France, but because Miguel Indurain was using rEPO.  Not only was Miguel Indurain using rEPO but the entire pack was using rEPO, and the reason that Greg LeMond finished in forth place instead of first place, is because "everyone was doing it."  Dope.  Therefore, Greg LeMond, the great champion could not keep pace, not because the LeMond era ended and the Indurain era begin, but because everyone was doing drugs but him.  Without the drugs I think LeMond thought he would reign as kingpin forever.  When old age proved him wrong he must have been seriously disillusioned.  Greg LeMond has always felt cheated by the world, first he was accidentally shot which deprived him of competing for several years in the Tour de France, then he felt he was cheated out of his rightful legacy by a bunch of no good dopers, and he has harbored a bitter resentment against the cycling community ever since.  Greg LeMond and his wife Kathy loath Lance Armstrong because Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times and they have done everything in their power to expose Lance Armstrong as a no good doping cheat, to remove his name from the pantheon of Tour de France winners and replace his name with "title vacant."  Rejoice, Greg, USADA, may fulfill your fondest wish, but you will never gain my respect.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Ryan Braun Rule

It is wonderful to note that Major League Baseball, WADA, signatories and affiliates, through wanton negligence and disregard of due process, destroyed all credibility of the anti-doping process and invited an avalanche of disdain and speculation.  This incredible blunder was based upon an incredible lack of interest in ensuring athlete rights to fair process by ensuring that the urine and blood samples they contributed through contractual attrition be assured unequivocal sample integrity from sample collection to final laboratory testing.

This abuse of process is indicative of the "sloppy" practice so often engaged in by the anti-doping crusade.  The samples were collected from the athlete under a rigorous process, witnessed, signed, sealed.  At this point there seems to be nothing that is legally contestable.  But once the sample passes from the direct supervision of the athlete into the maw of the transportation process, then a whole gamut of legally contestable problems emerge based directly upon the lack of foresight of the policy makers.  In the Ryan Braun case the issues centered upon a whole cascade of problems, delay in shipping the samples, lack of security of the sample to prevent possible sabotage, malfeasance, urine substitution; a lack of a controlled environment for the sample to prevent degradation, and a wanton disregard for accountability, responsibility, and liability.

Not surprisingly under appeal of these clear breaches of a convincing chain-of-custody, and because Major League Baseball could not convincingly prove the lack of an opportunistic malfeasance or a premeditated criminal intent to tamper with the sample, in spite of witness assurances to the contrary, Shyman Das was forced to overturn a fifty game suspension that was based upon the conclusion that Ryan Braun was above threshold for a carbon 13 synthetic based testosterone; which indicated an illegal use of a prohibited  performance enhancing substance.  It is important to note that the laboratory results generated by the WADA accredited laboratory at Montreal, Canada was never contested by the Ryan Braun defense team.  Indeed, if done correctly the carbon isotope ratio test may be incontestable.  Thus, in the popular press, the overturn of the Ryan Braun fifty game suspension became known as a legal "loophole" tactic.

He who does not agree with the Albanian Party of Labor on any given issue will get, a spit in the face, a sock on the jaw, and if necessary, a bullet in the head.
Mehmet Shehu

A loud and resounding peal of disapproval of Shyman Das emerged from Major League Baseball.  Without exception, anti-doping experts and sport pundits condemned Shyman Das, the arbitrator who cast the deciding vote to overturn the Braun suspension as a villain, a man who allowed a clearly guilty criminal athlete to escape rightful punishment; and a man who set a bad precedent that would prompt other criminal athletes use the same chain-of-custody "loophole" defense. According to New York Times unnamed sources Shyman Das was terminated from his arbitrator position for overturning the Ryan Braun suspension and for "other reasons." [See Velo Vortmax: Ryan Braun Terminated for a short summary of this fiasco.]  Shyman Das was essentially terminated from his position for merely pointing out to Major League Baseball that their chain-of-custody policy was legally indefensible because it was laced with ambiguity and could not prove conclusively sample integrity.

The Ryan Braun Rule

Reports have emerged [Fox Sports Radio] that Major League Baseball has instituted a new chain-of-custody policy to ensure that a Ryan Braun loophole never happens again.  There seems to have been an effort to eliminate the "ambiguity" that caused the problem in the first place; the storage of the sample unattended and unprotected on a courier's desk, for a weekend if necessary, if the shipping office was closed for business, or for concerns of inconvenience, traffic, or ancillary reasons of equal dubious quality.  These incoherent reasons have been clarified to include specific instances where normal chain-of-custody procedures may be circumvented through other incoherent excuses, which cannot be contested in future by the athlete. It would appear that the Ryan Braun rule is merely a faint to create loopholes for chaperons and couriers rather than to protect athletes rights to due process.  Rather than clarifying the process Major League Baseball seems to have added more confusion to the policy than ever and they may have opened the door for future legal actions; not in arbitration, but in a Federal court, where their idiotic policy can be contested by legal arguments.

The Floyd Landis Rule

When a cyclist gives a sample, from that point until testing, the sample becomes property of the UCI, according to a ruling by the Floyd Landis arbitration panel.  Floyd Landis claimed that since his samples had been sent to the WADA accredited laboratory at UCLA, and since he was under the jurisdiction of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who managed doping arbitration for USA cycling who issued Floyd Landis his cycling license, that any further testing of his samples that corresponded to the 2006 Tour de France other than the Stage 17 sample, the alternate "B" tests, should be done at UCLA and not at Paris.  The arbitration panel ruled that the samples were the property of the UCI and that the UCI could therefore do anything they wanted with regard to their own property, including sending the samples from UCLA to Paris for additional testing.  Thus, the UCI can do anything it desires with the sample including transporting the sample back and forth between WADA accredited laboratories, over thousands of kilometers, until they get the desired result.  Iban Mayo can testify to that fact, his "A" sample was tested by the Paris, France WADA accredited laboratory, who curiously had no time to do the "B" sample confirmation test.  Although Iban Mayo tested positive for rEPO in Paris, the WADA accredited laboratory in Australia where the sample was farmed out to determined the "B" sample "inconclusive."  Nevertheless, the UCI insisted that the Mayo "B" sample be tested again at Paris to confirm the original "A" sample conclusion that rEPO existed in Iban Mayo's urine sample.  The desired result suited the UCI, and the arbitrators confirmed that all was appropriate, above board and incontestable, even though the samples had passed through dozens of hands and had traveled thousands of kilometers...

If it worked for cyclists, why not for baseball too?