Flandis Verdict Part Deux
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 Cyclingnews.com 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.
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.