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  • LA Times Piece on Athlete Doping Unfairness

    Continues today.

    Here is the Torri Edwards CAS Case: ... 797863.pdf

    Story: ... -headlines

    Several key points brought up by the author:
    • Athletes are presumed guilty and denied routine access to lab data potentially relevant to their defense.
    • Trivial and accidental violations draw penalties similar to those for intentional use of illicit performance-enhancing substances.
    • Anti-doping authorities or sports federations have leaked details of cases against athletes or made public assertions of their guilt before tests were confirmed or appeals resolved.
    • The presumption shifts the burden to the athlete to prove that the lab:s work fell short of scientific standards and that its failures affected the outcome. The effect is to render the athlete guilty unless proved innocent.
    • Arbitrators are bound by rules drafted and enforced by the World Anti-Doping Agency and its affiliates, including USADA. They have almost no discretion to adjust penalties to fit individual circumstances.
    • Accused athletes find that challenging a system stacked against them can be extraordinarily costly, prompting some to abandon any effort at defense.
    • USADA has never lost an arbitration case in its history (spanning more than six years and over 40 proceedings). USADA brass say that record is a testament to their skill at bringing only bulletproof cases.
    • One arbitrator believes the system is not serving its purpose
    • Only three times has an arbitrator in a U.S. case even filed a dissent -- all by the same arbitrator: San Francisco lawyer Christopher L. Campbell
    • The tilt toward the prosecution in arbitration cases begins with the selection of arbitrators themselves
    • Many arbitrators have current or prior professional relationships with USADA, WADA or other sports organizations that frequently serve as the prosecution in anti-doping cases.
    • 22 of the 38 arbitrators in the North American pool in 2001 attended an expense-payed visit to the UCLA lab, capped out by a night out at a Santa Monica restaurant. One athlete lawyer, Edward G. Williams, states that anyone who attended that session should be disqualified (the words bribery can be read in-between the lines of his statement).
    • A WADA rule prohibits members of its 34 accredited laboratories from testifying in defense of an athlete in a doping case (as to avoid potential pressure from high-profile athlete corners).
    • WADA reserves the expertise of most of the top doping scientists in the world for use exclusively by the prosecuting agency, makling it tough, says one law professor who has defended a number of athletes, to go up against people doing this for a living.
    • Athletes attorneys face hurdles in obtaining technical documents from the agencies. Under USADA rules, the it is required to produce only records concerning the specific test performed on the athlete:s own sample. No way to check how they treated other similar cases, states the author.
    • Only one athlete has had a suspension waived in the "no fault" defense application.
    • USADA officials have said that they have proposed revisions to the WADA Code allowing arbitrators more latitude to reduce penalties in inadvertent cases — or to impose enhanced penalties in egregious cases, but WADA is leaning in the opposite direction.[/*:m:1yovt7ke]
    A lot to digest, but those are many of the main points.

    The cards can appear stacked against athletes, and, in Torri Edwards case, seem to crumble when she believed to have them all lined up in her favour.

    One key element to the story I, personally, found interesting was: If athletes want due process, then USADA want full search and seizure capabilities. This does paint a grim picture of athletes being against the wall and guilty until proven innocent - rather than the other way around.

  • #2
    Welcome to the wonderful world of zero tolerance.


    • #3
      Apropos Zero Tolerance, LA Times ran this side article:
      • Brooke Blackwelder, 34, Cyclist from Boise, Idaho: positive from a "likely" contamination of nutrition aids. Arbitrators: "a credit to her community and a role model to young women." Stated lack of intent to dope was immaterial. Ruling: Eight-month suspension.
      • Rickey Harris, 24, Track & field athlete from Centreville, VA: positive from a medication for attention deficit disorder. Arbitrators: "mistaken belief" Harris had provided paperwork for a waiver, that university failed to file. Ruling: One year suspension.
      • Johannes Eder, 22, Skier from Viehofen, Austria: severe diarrhea, self-injected after consulting his physician. Arbitrators: Injection should have been done by a doctor. Ruling: One year suspension.
        CAS Case:
      • Christine Ohuruogu, 22, Track & field athlete from London: missed three random drug tests. Arbitrators: attributed "only to forgetfulness." Ruling: Threatened with lifetime ban from Olympics.
      • Giorgia Squizzato, 17, Swimmer from Mestre, Italy: used an antibiotic skin cream on a foot infection. Arbitrators: "did not enhance the athlete's capacity", but was negligent, even if she didn:t mean to cheat. Ruling: One year suspension.
        CAS Case:
      • Alain Baxter, 28, Skier from Scotland: used a Vicks Vapor Inhaler made in the U.S which has an iffy banned substance. Arbitrators: Guilty. Result: Forfeiture of Olympic medal and three-month suspension. Had his medication been made in the U.K., it wouldn:t have had the stimulant.[/*:m:1j26m2up]


      • #4
        An excellent series of mainstream reporting. It clearly points out that it is often an unfair and draconian system that is entirely stacked against the athlete. I am surprised that it has never been successfully challenged in court.


        • #5
          Paging Joe McCarthy.


          • #6

            this article pretty much sums up alot of what i and others on this post have been saying.

            Specifically, the following will be established:
            1. The carbon isotope results do not satisfy the WADA positivity criteria, in
            a. Only one of four metabolites tested clearly exceeds the 3‰ threshold
            provided by WADA;
            b. The measurement value that is the best indicator of exogenous
            testosterone usage in urine proves that Floyd Landis did not use
            testosterone; and
            c. All of the 5α-Androstanediol ¹³C-values reported by LNDD are
            2. Absent a positive CIR result, there is no case to answer under the WADA

            figo comments:
            i've briefed over the lab results, can't comment too much on the technical results without going through it in detail....that said, many things strike me as very odd.

            by the year 2000 nearly every major commercial laboratory utilizes LIMS - laboratory information management systems.
            the french lab is definitely lacking in this area.
            under a LIMS, basically the whole testing process is automated in systematic fashion. from sample labeling, to chain of custody info, method of analysis, sample preparation instructions, quality control, spikes, standards, instrumental technique, calculations and final report. documentation is held within the LIMS system.

            the implementation of LIMS (properly) leads to a great increase in both productivity and reliability. suffice it to say that the all the documents seen are hand written by lab staff that have obviously not mastered grade 3 penmanship skills. not to mention their computer system / email was open to intrusion and attack. the french lab could use a decent lims. i shudder to think what kind of scene exists in the actual instrument rooms....

            should arnie baker's assertions prove to be valid, we have La Grande Mascarade, the french lab, a half ass research lab pretending to be a world class outfit.

            to list the inexcusable flaws admitted or under review.

            1) potential analyst bias - analysts knew who was being tested.
            2) inappropriate preservation of sample - guard against microbes that degrade test parameters
            3) labeling error
            4) non robust method - does not meet gmp/glp/fda requirements
            5) test results on repeats with disagreement >100%
            6) insecure data system
            7) illegible hand writing, manual transcription - prone to error
            8) disregarding data that conflict with a positive.
            9) most probably missed a few more points...

            what is neat about this case is that some actual lab results are being published rather in contrast to the error proof wada black box routine.

            irregardless of landis real innocence or guilt, the french lab should be banned perhaps not for two years but for a lifetime.

            now what i haven't seen is the chromatograms, mass spectral data
            surrogate / internal standards, retention times, background, signal to noise....

            the data below is from a gc with flame detector - fid.

            Steroids from Urine

            peak Identification
            1. 19-Norandrosterone
            2. 19-Nortiocholanone
            3. Androsterone
            4. 17α-Methylandrostan-3α,17β-diol
            5. Stanolone
            6. Nandrolone
            7. Methyltestosterone
            8. Mesterolone
            9. β-Hydroxyandrosterone
            10. Testosterone
            11. Boldenone
            12. 6β-17α-Hydroxyboldenone
            13. 6β-Hydroxymethandrostenalone
            14. 16α-17α-Hydroxyboldenone
            15. Clostebol
            16. 16β-Hydroxyboldenone
            17. 4-Chlorotestosterone Acetate
            18. Stanozolol
            19. 4α-Hydroxystanozolol


            using a ms detector you can see the fragmentation spectra of the analytes as they come out of the column. you identify the compound by retention time and also the mass spectra - distinct ("unique') ionized fragmentations of the analyte.

            mass spectra cholesterol (other steroids spectra are quite similar)

            now the equipment needs to be set up properly to get decent data out and co-elution can be a big problem... this means say peak 5 and 6 come out together and both compounds mass spectra are nearly identical, combine this problem with a near baseline signal and you've got garbage...

            since the french lab has so many other problems, the chromatographic data needs looking into.... you know they've messed up on the easy stuff...

            wada may be in deep shit, looking very beatable if you ask me.


            • #7
              Re: LA Times Piece on Athlete Doping Unfairness

              [quote="EPelle"]Continues today.

              Here is the Torri Edwards CAS Case:
     ... 797863.pdf

     ... -headlines

              wada and associates (wadass) are not so bullet proof, not at all.
              they can be taken out.
              wadass weakness is their arogance, over confidence in light of their bozo
              manipulation of law and science.

              the french lab example and the epele points indicate wadass are ripe for the pickings.

              what you need is an independent audit of the entire organization / empire.
              you need private investigators, staff interviews under oath, a team of top litigators and actually real bonafide analysts and docs for a complete and utter beat down.


              • #8
                Rights Rule

                The anti-doping crusade should never be allowed to trump human rights.

                Quick Silver
                Hong Kong


                • #9
                  a point to remember.
                  all organizations are like organisms, they seek to survive and propagate.
                  it's pretty simplistic at the core.
                  wada, (like any corporation) wants to expand and control their market, the entire sports drug testing world period.
                  block out all competition. same as the old USSR, Nazis, etc.etc.
                  ideally, wada wants to be judge and jury, have the only opinion on testing, control all the labs that are affiliated with it.

                  right now wada has no competition and they've stepped into a vacuum in the sense that no other power groups are involved in big sports med testing.

                  it's a one party system you have here and they have the gall to proceed in violation on all the principles won through blood sweat and tears since the french revolution.

                  with total control comes total corruption, but that's not key for me here.
                  wada is incompetent. stupid in power is the worst kind of evil.

                  from time to time i think i'm wasting my time here saying this stuff but on the other hand i enjoy the idea that i'm maybe knocking on someones door asking for a fist fight.

                  last thought: you know ph.d. expert most often means baffle them with bullshit.
                  you have no idea how vulgar that french lab stuff is....


                  • #10
                    figo, you are providing a valuable service here because you fill in a lot of holes in my knowledge about lab procedures. Of course the stuff about self-propagation, expansion and corruption is well known to me having observed this process at close hand and I am sure most others on this board can relate that to their life experiences as well.


                    • #11
                      Ohuruogu, who was bullet-pointed above, has been drug-screened eight times this year already, and feels it:s over the top.

                      The revelation that Ohuruogu has been tested probably more times in six months than athletes who are free to compete emerged in a BBC interview with her coach, Lloyd Cowan. He said it was not fair, adding: "We need a fair playing field."
             ... aths09.xml


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EPelle
                        Ohuruogu, who was bullet-pointed above, has been drug-screened eight times this year already, and feels it:s over the top.

                        The revelation that Ohuruogu has been tested probably more times in six months than athletes who are free to compete emerged in a BBC interview with her coach, Lloyd Cowan. He said it was not fair, adding: "We need a fair playing field."
               ... aths09.xml
                        Ohuruogu should be tested every month for the rest of her career.
                        I wish she had to pay for the testing as well.

                        Missing tests is one of the classic methods of cheating and still goes on. If you dont ban stupid athletes for missing tests you get Lars Riedel missing a reported five tests a year, and the Greek athletic team.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deuch
                          If you dont ban stupid athletes for missing tests you get Lars Riedel missing a reported five tests a year, and the Greek athletic team.
                          Riedel missed five tests, because NADA didn't update their database with his correct adress. They only changed the zip code, but not the name of the street, so testers were unable to find him in his new hometown.


                          • #14
                            Allerdings ist der Fall Riedel ein besonderer, da der 39-Jährige nicht von einem Kontrolleur der Nationalen Anti-Doping-Agentur (NADA), sondern einem Fahnder der IAAF nicht anzutreffen war. Riedel hielt sich laut Anne Jakob, Vorsitzende der DLV-Anti-Doping-Kommission, zu diesem Zeitpunkt für wenige Stunden nicht an seinem Wohnort Rottach-Egern, sondern an der Uni in München zum Studieren auf. Darüber sei der Kontrolleur von Riedels Freundin informiert worden. Dieser habe den Diskuswerfer daraufhin aber nicht angerufen, um ihn um Abgabe einer Dopingprobe zu bitten, sondern sei unverrichteter Dinge wieder von dannen gezogen.

                            "An dem Fall sieht man, wie schwierig es für Athleten ist, sich richtig an- und abzumelden. Es gibt keine praktische Empfehlung, wie das zu erfolgen hat", bemängelt Jakob, die derzeit versucht, den Fall bei der IAAF aufzuklären. Rückgängig zu machen sei die Verwarnung aber nicht mehr.


                            • #15

                              two different cases. He got a public warning for the test conducted by the IAAF you mentioned, but nothing came of the five missed tests mentioned above conducted by the NADA, because they accepted that fault lay on their side