Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

Read (and View) All About It!
It's been extremely interesting following the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing (and we're only 2 days into a scheduled 10 day hearing). Because of the public nature of the hearing, dozens of media types have been able to dissect every little tidbit of information.

For a great play-by-play you can't go wrong by heading over to our friends in the blogosphere, Trust But Verify, who has been following the plight of Floyd since his positive results were revealed a year ago.

If you have a high speed internet connection (and some time on your hands), you can watch LIVE streaming video of the proceedings by following the links found on the Floyd Fairness Fund website or on Floyd's personal site, floydlandis.com. You can also catch videos on demand at the former.

Blinded Me With Science
As I've stated before, the Landis case won't be about legal posturing, but rather hinge on the science. So far, the hearing hasn't disappointed.

USADA and its lawyers, to date, have presented their experts in the field of testosterone metabolism and Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Carbon Isotope Ratio (IRMS CIR), and one of the LNDD technicians who ran Landis' samples (more on her later).

Frankly, I've been extremely surprised by all three of USADA's witnesses. Through a litany of patent answers, each has incidentally perforated holes in USADA's attempt at burden or proof; corroborating much of the procedural and ethical violations Team Landis has consistently claimed.

The testosterone metabolism expert, Dr. Cedric Shackleton, Senior Scientist at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) who has authored over 200 papers and whose biography (from the CHORI website) reads as such,

"Since 1967, Dr. Shackleton has been an innovator in the use of mass spectrometetry for biochemical analysis...Shackleton has also pioneered the use of mass spectrometry in providing a detailed analysis of the steroid production in hypertensive individuals, and operates an internationally used resource for diagnosis of rare forms of inherited hypertension. In addition, Shackleton has worked with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees to help establish procedures for synthetic steroid detection. By analysis of the carbon isotope ratio, mass spectrometry can show that the steroids found in an athlete’s urine come from an external source, thus proving steroid misuse. He contributed to the methods used in all recent Olympic games..."

sounded, on cross examination of Landis' chromatograms (the actual graphical representation of the separation of ions), as if he truly wasn't an expert on mass spectrometry at all, merely claiming an expertise in the metabolism of testosterone. Either Dr. Shackleton was the poor doddering Englishman, some have portrayed him as, or he was non-committal in his answers for other reasons.

Meanwhile, as Michael Hiltzik, LA Times, reported, Dr. J. Thomas Brenna, USADA's second witness and IRMS CIR expert, contradicted himself while commenting on the LNDD's procedural precision. Hiltzik writes:

"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."

While Brenna, "...had earlier praised the lab's technical competence."

Certain biases in Brenna's testimony were also disclosed as he receives $1.3 million dollars in WADA grant money.

The final witness on Day 2 of the Landis' hearing was LNDD technician, Cynthia Mongongu. Because of inadequate interpretation for the French speaking Mongongu, long delays ensued. How bad was the initial interpreter? Eurosport reported:

"When the interpreter translated Mrs. Mongongu's answer "a day and a half" as "an hour and a half," Mr. Brunet and one of Floyd Landis' lawyers then proposed to adjourn the session for more than an hour: the time it would take to bring in another interpreter."

Once her testimony got underway, Mrs. Mongongu, a late addition to USADA's witness list, seemed to add further to the implication of laboratory imprecision and the notion that files had been deleted. As TBV states:

"She admitted stopping the machine for a variety of reasons, none clearly documented in any of the logs or test documentation."

Clash of Titans?
An interesting tidbit from ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone was the listing of Greg Lemond and Eddy Merckx on the witness lists; Lemond on USADA's and Merckx on Landis'. The latter, the father of Landis' former teammate, Axel, is listed as an expert in cycling tactics and racing, while the reasons for listing the former were unknown. Although neither is expected to testify, this might have been the only chance to see these titans of cycling go head-to-head. I'm sure the road version would have been better, but I'll take what I can get.

4 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

Nice job, Granny. You saved me the work this morning! I may add some URLs to your post as the day goes on.
Hey -- who won Stage 3 of the Giro?!

Granny's 30 said...

your king of the low hanging fruit

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Greg vs. Eddy on the road? Merckx would leave him in the dust, even though he's got 20 years on Lemond.

Granny's 30 said...

its one to ponder daniel, as I would love to have seen Eddy's will v. Lemond's talent.

would Eddy dust him? if Hinault could do it, Eddy certainly would have as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

Read (and View) All About It!
It's been extremely interesting following the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing (and we're only 2 days into a scheduled 10 day hearing). Because of the public nature of the hearing, dozens of media types have been able to dissect every little tidbit of information.

For a great play-by-play you can't go wrong by heading over to our friends in the blogosphere, Trust But Verify, who has been following the plight of Floyd since his positive results were revealed a year ago.

If you have a high speed internet connection (and some time on your hands), you can watch LIVE streaming video of the proceedings by following the links found on the Floyd Fairness Fund website or on Floyd's personal site, floydlandis.com. You can also catch videos on demand at the former.

Blinded Me With Science
As I've stated before, the Landis case won't be about legal posturing, but rather hinge on the science. So far, the hearing hasn't disappointed.

USADA and its lawyers, to date, have presented their experts in the field of testosterone metabolism and Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Carbon Isotope Ratio (IRMS CIR), and one of the LNDD technicians who ran Landis' samples (more on her later).

Frankly, I've been extremely surprised by all three of USADA's witnesses. Through a litany of patent answers, each has incidentally perforated holes in USADA's attempt at burden or proof; corroborating much of the procedural and ethical violations Team Landis has consistently claimed.

The testosterone metabolism expert, Dr. Cedric Shackleton, Senior Scientist at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) who has authored over 200 papers and whose biography (from the CHORI website) reads as such,

"Since 1967, Dr. Shackleton has been an innovator in the use of mass spectrometetry for biochemical analysis...Shackleton has also pioneered the use of mass spectrometry in providing a detailed analysis of the steroid production in hypertensive individuals, and operates an internationally used resource for diagnosis of rare forms of inherited hypertension. In addition, Shackleton has worked with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees to help establish procedures for synthetic steroid detection. By analysis of the carbon isotope ratio, mass spectrometry can show that the steroids found in an athlete’s urine come from an external source, thus proving steroid misuse. He contributed to the methods used in all recent Olympic games..."

sounded, on cross examination of Landis' chromatograms (the actual graphical representation of the separation of ions), as if he truly wasn't an expert on mass spectrometry at all, merely claiming an expertise in the metabolism of testosterone. Either Dr. Shackleton was the poor doddering Englishman, some have portrayed him as, or he was non-committal in his answers for other reasons.

Meanwhile, as Michael Hiltzik, LA Times, reported, Dr. J. Thomas Brenna, USADA's second witness and IRMS CIR expert, contradicted himself while commenting on the LNDD's procedural precision. Hiltzik writes:

"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."

While Brenna, "...had earlier praised the lab's technical competence."

Certain biases in Brenna's testimony were also disclosed as he receives $1.3 million dollars in WADA grant money.

The final witness on Day 2 of the Landis' hearing was LNDD technician, Cynthia Mongongu. Because of inadequate interpretation for the French speaking Mongongu, long delays ensued. How bad was the initial interpreter? Eurosport reported:

"When the interpreter translated Mrs. Mongongu's answer "a day and a half" as "an hour and a half," Mr. Brunet and one of Floyd Landis' lawyers then proposed to adjourn the session for more than an hour: the time it would take to bring in another interpreter."

Once her testimony got underway, Mrs. Mongongu, a late addition to USADA's witness list, seemed to add further to the implication of laboratory imprecision and the notion that files had been deleted. As TBV states:

"She admitted stopping the machine for a variety of reasons, none clearly documented in any of the logs or test documentation."

Clash of Titans?
An interesting tidbit from ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone was the listing of Greg Lemond and Eddy Merckx on the witness lists; Lemond on USADA's and Merckx on Landis'. The latter, the father of Landis' former teammate, Axel, is listed as an expert in cycling tactics and racing, while the reasons for listing the former were unknown. Although neither is expected to testify, this might have been the only chance to see these titans of cycling go head-to-head. I'm sure the road version would have been better, but I'll take what I can get.

4 comments:

Tour of '03 said...

Nice job, Granny. You saved me the work this morning! I may add some URLs to your post as the day goes on.
Hey -- who won Stage 3 of the Giro?!

Granny's 30 said...

your king of the low hanging fruit

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Greg vs. Eddy on the road? Merckx would leave him in the dust, even though he's got 20 years on Lemond.

Granny's 30 said...

its one to ponder daniel, as I would love to have seen Eddy's will v. Lemond's talent.

would Eddy dust him? if Hinault could do it, Eddy certainly would have as well.