Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Flandis Verdict Part Deux

From Comments:
James Westphal said...

I totally disagree with the verdict. Forget the protocol, the lab's records don't show anything akin to a positive test.

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in physical chemistry with a background in isotopic analyses like those used in this test. Their results don't begin to meet standards for industry, let alone a medical testing lab.

Their records don't gibe with their assertions. Period. The protocol itself, even followed correctly, does not present a positive doping result. [emphasis mine]

From letters:
The Landis decision

Well, I've read several articles about the decision on the Landis case, as I'm sure everyone else has. But after reading the stories and the findings of the errors and mishandlings in the French lab can you say, without a reasonable doubt [emphasis mine], that Landis is guilty? 1 of the 3 panel judges didn't.

How about the quote that said the following: "The panel does, however note that the forensic corrections of the lab reflect sloppy practice on its part," the majority decision noted. "If such practices continue it may well be that in the future an error like this could result in the dismissal of an AAF (Adverse Analytical Finding) finding by the lab."

In future cases "an error like this could result in the dismissal of an AAF finding by the lab" [just not this one]. I'm sorry but with statements like that from the panel this whole thing just doesn't sit well with me.

I hope the best for all athletes subject to these testing's and shoddy lab works.

Gary Lee
Daly City, CA, USA
Friday, September 21, 2007

I think this pretty much sums up the objections to the Landis verdict. They are:

1. The tests are not scientifically valid. (James' objection).
2. The results do not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Landis is guilty. (Gary direct objection and James' indirect objection)

I agree with both points. They are, in terms of the arbitration hearings and the probably appeal to CAS, irrelevant.

The panel's job is to determine whether or not the lab met WADA's standards for a positive dope result. WADA's standard requires the lab to meet international protocols for the handling of samples and a preponderance of evidence for analysis of samples. WADA also considers a test validated for use as an anti-doping tool if it meets that same preponderance of evidence standard.

The panel ruled that the 1st test did not follow the required protocol and threw it out. The panel ruled 2-1 that the 2nd test was handled in accordance with WADA protocol and met the WADA standard of proof.. in otherwords the results showed a 51% minimum probability that Landis used testosterone.

That's the right ruling given the standards of proof set forth by WADA.

So, in short, your beef is not with the ruling. It's with WADA, which has set a very low standard of proof. I'd further argue that they intentionally try to cloud the waters to imply the tests they use do meet the rigorous scientific standards James' and many others allude to.


At Wednesday, October 03, 2007 2:03:00 PM, Blogger justfivegrins said...

As one who is subject to random drug & alcohol testing (though not with the WADA or USADA) I'm sure glad I have the backing of union representation and the resources it has at its disposal if/when a potential career ending false positive ever occurs.

At Tuesday, October 09, 2007 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous igivegoodleadout said...

It would be really nice if people formed their opinions off of informative information versus what they read off of the Velonews mailbag. Here are some actual facts...

1. The one dissenting arbitrator in the case was chosen by the Landis team. Same guy chosen by Tyler which was also a 2-1 ruling. USADA chose an arbitrator, and those two chose the third. The one picked by Landis was chosen because he has a history to dissent in these cases.
2. The techniques used are completely scientifically valid, and one could argue is the least subjective of all the tests done (MS/MS(steroids) versus FACS(homologous blood transfusion) versus WB(EPO)).
3. An independent lab tested 7 other Landis samples from the tour and found exogenous testosterone (ie not from your own organism) in 4 of those.
4. People are saying that there were not enough parameters positive to call it a positive, which again, is not true. They based the positive off of multiple metabolites of testosterone to prove that it was indeed a positive test.
5. There are arguments that his testosterone numbers were regular and that it was his epitestosterone numbers that were low. Again this is wrong, there is no way to determine a "normal" concentration because this test is done on urine and not blood plasma levels. That is why the use the T/E ratio, which has been completely characterized. I will go as far as saying that a 4:1 T/E ratio is probably too much leeway for a test and is contributing to the abuse of testosterone.

I wish Floyd wasn't guilty, but he clearly is, just like Tyler.

At Tuesday, October 09, 2007 10:52:00 AM, Blogger P-Dog said...

I am not sure if you are agreeing with my post or not, but I do have 1 request. And this is not sarcastic. It is an honest request.

Can you direct me to the studies or publications that validate the 2nd test for use as a dope control? WADA does not list any and the only reference I have found was to an article in Scientific American, which isn't a qualifying publication.

At Tuesday, October 09, 2007 2:38:00 PM, Anonymous igivegoodleadout said...


7 and 10 would be the papers you are looking for.

At Tuesday, October 09, 2007 2:44:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

I think the link got truncated.. this one leads to a front page... or is this a subscription only website?

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2:27:00 PM, Anonymous igivegoodleadout said...

Widen the window to get the full link, Genius.

At Wednesday, October 10, 2007 6:41:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...


#1 I didn't insult you so I see no reason for you to insult me.

#2 The studies you cite are the same study.

#3 The study is a prilim examination of the technique and does not validate the test as a dope control tool.

#4 Your previous post conflated the 2 tests in question.

#5 the other samples were not tested by an independent lab. they were tested by a WADA accredited labratory.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home