Thursday, October 11, 2007

Igivegoodleadout, you ignorant slut

In response to my post suggesting that everyone who is up in arms at the Flandis Arbitration panel should instead aim their ire at WADA IGiveGoodLeadOut (forevermore referred to herein as IGive) came out swinging.

Among many things s/he 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...


At first, I wasn't sure if that criticism was levelled at me or the letter writers I quoted. It seems like it was me, but that would mean IGive didn't actually read my post or do any research by looking at the previous posts on the subject of dope testing I've made. That seemed unlikely since IGive just admonished someone (me?) for not making informed opinions "based on facts" or "informative information".

It's further seems odd, since my post was titled "Part Deux", which implies there was a part 1. But maybe IGive doesn't understand French. Or maybe Deux isn't French. I don't know, I just know it was the second Hot Shot movie. So for his benefit here's a link to part 1 and the money quote:

I have read the reports of the Flandis verdict and also the opinions, both majority and minority. I will caveat the following by noting that neither PPuppy V1 or V2 particularly care about my need to read this information so I may have missed an important point or 2.


I won't go back and link all my dopage related posts cause, well frankly I don't have the time to sift through my blog. But if you do you will find some "informative information" such as:

I have read nearly the entire WADA website.
I have read the Vervoken-hooky report.
I have read the publicly released portions of the Tyler Hamilton arbitration case.
I have read many interviews by Dick Pound and Hien Verburghenhousen were they explicitly state that the threshold for a dope test is preponderance of the evidence
My issue with the dope testing is WADA's presentation of tests as scientifically validated for use as a dope test when they are not.
I actually know what it means to be scientifically validated.
I have a hard time spelling names.
I may in fact be a trained Ninja.

But then again, IGive also said the following:
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.


Which is odd since I know a smart commenter like IGive would actually read the arbitration report and know that there were 2 tests ruled on[1]
and that the panel decided to toss the first test's results for protocol errors[2] but to allow the 2nd test[3]. Thus, the panel ruled 2-1 that there was enough evidence based on the 2nd test for the adverse analytic finding to stand. He would also know they did not rule on the validity of the techniques, instead it referred to several UCI verdicts as precedence for accepting the 2nd test as a valid dope test. The panel did not, as IGive's comment seems to imply, find that the tests were scientifically valid and that both tests were allowed to stand by a 2-1 vote.

Despite my absolute confidence in IGive's research skills, here's another linky to the report plus the money quote from velonews' coverage:

The majority of the panel found that while the initial testosterone-epitestosterone test was not "established in accordance with the WADA International Standard for Laboratories," the more precise and expensive carbon-isotope ratio analysis (IRMS), performed as a follow-up was accurate. As a result, "an anti-doping rule violation is established," said the majority.



Now it could also be true that IGive knows the panel ruled on 2 different tests and just wasn't clear in comments. But someone who would sarcastically call me a "genius" because I couldn't get a link to work properly wouldn't set themselves up for ridicule by making an in your face argument that wasn't perfectly written would they?

But then again, I would assume that someone coming out guns ablazin' at your dear blogger would not say something like:

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)).


were
1. The first statement is substantiated by link to a search result for studies by Catlin and specifying the the abstracts of 2 which,not surprisingly, do not in total meet the standard of independently replicable results since Catlin is a researcher in both them[4].
and
2 The second statement is both meaningless (one could also argue it's not, so what's the point?)and irrelevant Association Fallacy. Scientific Validity is not based on a grade curve.


Anyway, I could go on, following Strangelover's dictum that the best use of the internet is to insult people. But rather I'll stop, since probably 1 person will even read this far and present my actual point.

I am perfectly up for having a real discussion about the issue's of dope testing. However, that discussion needs to be in good faith and based on a willingness to question ones own beliefs. I am not up for someone questoning my intelligence (the "genius" comment) or my analytic abilities (the "It would be really nice if people formed their opinions off of informative information" graph) when they can't even meet the same standard of analysis they are demanding of me (see above).

Assuming that's what IGive meant. If not, well then move along. Nothing to see here.



[1]Page 47, Paragraph 145

[2] Page 53, Paragraph 172

[3] Page 53, Paragraph 173

[4] Note that the link was to a search that does not always return the results in the same order. So rather than pick apart the relevance of the study it seemed easiest to point out the obvious failing in the basic search.. they are all studies involving Catlin and therefore relevant only as 1 study, not as replication of results required to be considered valid. On my own I was able to find 4 other studies, 2 by WADA accredited agencies and therefore also of questionable relevance in terms of replication, none of which were detailed enough in the abstract to determine provided validation to the test.

12 Comments:

At Thursday, October 11, 2007 1:39:00 PM, Blogger andrew said...

Where the hell do you find time to poach riders and still write all this? You must not need sleep.

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 2:56:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

am sad to confirm your comment. i do not sleep.

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 3:16:00 PM, Anonymous iworkupprudogonprudogblog said...

DEAR GENIUS, I AM UR NAYBUR, GIVIN U SHIT. KTHXBEI!

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 4:25:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

IWor.. oh forget it.
You aren't working me up.
You are giving me a golden opportunity to post hit generating content. Remember Stangelands Dictum.....

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 5:35:00 PM, Anonymous strangelovers mom said...

you got "served' by IGive. You "served" them back. By the rule of shitty teenage cheerleading movies it's now "on"
Unless it's been previously "broughten"

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:12:00 PM, Blogger Argentius said...

I hereby dub thee, "PruNinja."

Henceforth and forevermore.

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:52:00 PM, Blogger justfivegrins said...

Pru, you've got to cut down on that caffine. I guess the week without car didn't zap any of your creative blogging energy.

 
At Thursday, October 11, 2007 7:57:00 PM, Anonymous ibeme said...

I too have nunchuck skills!!! Do you also find it hard to nunchuck while on the bike wearing the Ninja PJ's?

 
At Friday, October 12, 2007 3:37:00 PM, Anonymous igivegoodleadout said...

A few points of clarification.

My comments were neither an attack on Prudog, Prudogblog, or your mama.
I would like nothing more then Floyd to be found innocent, assuming that is he is innocent. I don't believe he is though.
I think there are more athletes in sports cheating then people realize.
I also think we are hypocritical as a society dependent on better living through chemistry to quick to accuse or point fingers at potential cheats.
I think there are problems with the credibility of the French lab and that every person should be fired if there is another leak.
I agree that there has to be proper scientific validation of tests and that standard absolutely have to be met.
I am too a ninja.
I hate Dick Pound and am glad to see him gone.
I believe that most people in the anti-doping "community" are truly trying to catch the cheats and not just catch anyone to justify their existence.

One of the main arguments I've seen presented that I completely disagree with is how the first test was not found by the panel, who are not scientists, to not be done to code, and somehow that is a justification to let Floyd off. Admittedly I haven't read entirely that part of the ruling, so it's not clear to me what basis they found it not to be done correctly beyond the flurry of accusations out of the Flandis camp. Regardless, my personal opinion is that the first test doesn't matter, it's meant to weed out who needs to be looked at in more detail and who doesn't, and in reality it boils down to cost and time. It is much faster and cheaper to do a MS/MS test for T/E levels then it is to do the GC/C/IRMS carbon isotope test. Find the obvious cheats and confirm they are doping. I'm pretty sure if they did GC/C/IRMS on all the samples going through there they would find more then a few positives, but that is just my assumption, but it would take them weeks to do just one days worth of samples. In the diagnostics world it's not unusual to do a preliminary "quick and dirty" test to find samples of interest, and then follow them up with more highly characterized and validated tests to confirm a particular result.

As far as the links I provided, I agree it would be nice if there was additional follow up work by different investigators with the testing methods, because in almost all cases they are by one group for each test. The problem is it's a "niche market" and it is expensive to do. For the most part I think all the tests are pretty bullet-proof assuming they are done correctly. The EPO test I have serious reservations about as the reliability as a diagnostics tool because it is the most prone to variability and is highly subjective, but it still works.

In 5 years with the technology that has recently reached the market (high-throughput Luminex), or about to reach market (Amnion etc.) , the anti-doping game is about to turn in favor of the testers. The only limiting factor will be the number of vampires the agencies can have pulling blood, and it wouldn't surprise me if they tested every rider every day in the grand tour. It will be faster, cheaper, and require less sample.

 
At Friday, October 12, 2007 4:05:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

First let me say that your response is professional, well reasoned and otherwise useless to me for the purpose of generating additional website traffic.

Second, since my post at least 5 people have stepped forward to claim to be the "real" IGive so without blood and urine samples I have to assume the *real* IGive is crying somewhere!

Third, I basically agree with all your points. One point of confusion may be that the ruling discusses the additional tests done by the other lab but did not include them in their ruling for a AAF. So the ruling did not say that those tests were conducted improperly, only that the one done by LLND was.

As far as that test.. well basically they found that LNDD had not followed the protocol for testing the sample and as such the burden of proof was on LNDD to show that the results were still reliable. As I understand it LNDD didn't try to do that, they only tried to argue that they followed the protocol (by that I don't mean the analysis but the procedures for conducting the test).

They made the AAF because they applied the same logic you did regarding the importance of the tests.

Keep in mind that the panel is not making scientific evaluations. I know people keep saying it's about the science but what they really ruled on is whether or not LNDD followed a set procedures (i.e. chain of evidence, proper calibration) that have already been established. So essentially they just do checklist. Did LNDD do this? ok. Did they do this? ok. Did they do this? No. OK, toss results. That procedure may have been not wearing shoes on tuesday, but if it's an established procedure and LNDD doesn't follow it then the results are tossed.

Keep in mind LNDD (and WADA) set themselves up for that. Their essential argument has not been that they followed the established procedures. It's been that they are so f***in good they don't need to. In the end I don't care about Landis, he just races a bike.

But LNDD are supposed to be the good guys. If you want to be the good guy, you gotta live up to a higher standard.

 
At Friday, October 12, 2007 4:07:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

I should clarify:

As I understand it LNDD didn't try to do that, they only tried to argue that they followed the protocol (by that I don't mean the analysis but the procedures for conducting the test).

should say

As I understand it LNDD didn't try to do that, they only tried to argue that they followed the protocols they felt mattered (by that I don't mean the analysis but the procedures for conducting the test).

 
At Friday, October 12, 2007 5:19:00 PM, Anonymous igivegoodleadout said...

Fine, you are a poo eating rider poaching bear fucker. Will that create traffic now?

Unless I'm misunderstood the arbitrators only job was to determine whether an anti-doping offense occurred. The evidence shows pretty conclusively in my mind that it did. I think the problem arises that the panel has no way of reprimanding the lab for sloppy work. That is WADA's job and it's clear that they aren't making people accountable for sloppy work and leaks. That is a problem.

There needs to be a solution. WADA's job is to catch cheats, but there is really nobody to protect athletes. There needs to be a body of experts in the various expertise available who represent the athletes and arbitrators for B-sample testing and court appearances, whose sole purpose is to look out for the athletes best interests and advise the arbitrators so they can make quicker rulings. This also creates a layer of accountability to the labs as they will constantly be under the watchful eye. This would have to be funded by WADA, but outside of their control, while still having total access. Additionally their job would be peer-reviewing the research and test developed by the various labs, and looking at ways that could possibly create an adverse analytical finding. As a result I believe there would be a) no more leaked results and b) more people admitting their guilt and c) quicker hearings and decisions.

 

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