Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Pound POUNDS Lamour's Laments

This post had been delayed...

... until the perfect title came to ZENmud production's inner sanctum...

At the WADA-AMA website, a full page of 'discussion points' was published, regarding the now-widely-known departure of Jean-François Lamour from WADAworld. It has all the barbeque-sauce flavor of typical Dick Pound statements, so one could imagine that the Attorney-President of WADA drafted these himself.

For the interests of archiving a vital point not to be lost if future collegial activity prompts its departure from the WADA site, WADAwatch publishes this public information in its entirety, with some points emphasized by color-shifts:

In a press conference on October 16, 2007, Jean-François Lamour announced his withdrawal from the race for WADA president and his resignation as its Vice President. In response to the attacks that Mr. Lamour has made on WADA, its current leadership and the process by which the next president will be selected, I wish to clarify the following facts:

  1. WADA’s statutes are clear and have been firmly adhered to throughout the process for nominating the Agency’s next president.

    • The World Anti-Doing Agency is an equal partnership between the Sport Movement and Governments of the world.

    • The principle of rotation between the Sport Movement and Governments in holding the leadership position of WADA is formalized in WADA Statutes:

      • Article 7, paragraph 2: the position of WADA president is held on an alternating basis by a representative of the Olympic Movement and a representative of the public authorities

      • Article 7, paragraph 3: the president and the vice-president must be “nominated” by the Olympic Movement or the public authorities

    • The WADA Statutes do not contain any other rules in respect to how each entity (the Olympic Movement on the one hand, and the public authorities on the other) “nominate” their respective positions.

    • It is therefore up to the public authorities, and the Olympic Movement, to designate, in accordance with their own methods or protocols, the candidate or candidates to be appointed president and vice-president, representing the public authorities or the Olympic Movement, in accordance with article 7, paragraph 2 of the Statutes.

    • As previously agreed between the Sport Movement and Governments, and in accordance with the principle of rotation in WADA’s statutes, I, a representative of the Sport Movement, will step down from my position as WADA President at the end of my third term on December 31, 2007, to allow governments to hold the leadership position.

  2. Nowhere in WADA’s statutes or policies is it stated (or assumed) that the WADA Vice President will automatically become the President of WADA.

    • While Mr. Lamour had been selected by government members of WADA’s Foundation Board in November 2006 to serve as the government representative in the position of WADA Vice President for the calendar year 2007, there was no guarantee that the governments, which are represented on the WADA Foundation Board on a continental basis, would nominate him as their sole candidate to WADA’s presidency.

  3. WADA received two nominations from governments for WADA president within the designated deadline for nominations (September 20, 2007): Jean-François Lamour (France) and John Fahey (Australia).

    • WADA did not partake in any process development leading to a “primary.” Rather the governments met to discuss how they would select one of the two nominees to be the representative from public authorities to be put forward as president.

    • Mr. Lamour’s suggestion that there is an “anglo-saxon” conspiracy against him is incorrect, inappropriate and neglects the fact that represented in the decision-making are representatives of all five continents.

  4. Governments have been entirely responsible for nominations and the process for electing a representative to be put forward as President.

    • Mr. Lamour’s suggestion that WADA management and I have been involved in the discussions on the election of the future WADA president is completely false and defamatory in nature.

  5. Mr. Lamour’s withdrawal from the government selection process indicates his unwillingness to participate in a democratic process decided by the Governments themselves.

    • Mr. Lamour has confused “lobbies” with the simple democratic process of elections.

    • If Mr. Lamour is unable or unwilling to campaign to convince the governments (whom he was supposed to be representing in his position - until his resignation - as WADA Vice President) that he should continue to represent them as WADA’s next president, then perhaps he is not the right person to be entrusted with the leadership.

  6. Lamour’s criticism of WADA is unfounded.

    • He has served on the Foundation Board and Executive Committee since 2005, and has served as its vice president for one year.

    • Not once during that time has he raised any concerns about the leadership and direction of the fight against doping that had been led by WADA.

    • His sudden about-face in his public enunciations regarding WADA is astounding, unfortunate and suspect, in view of his previous support and commitment.

    • The whole purpose to this international agency is to harmonize rules and policies, yet Lamour’s recent proposals go counter to the entire premise behind the organization of which he was an active vice president until his resignation this week.

    • Mr. Lamour's claim that his withdrawal is a set back for WADA and the fight against doping is a most unfortunate and ill-considered comment. It is difficult to comprehend how the significant advances in harmonization, research and education in the fight against doping in sport, led by WADA Committees and effected by WADA management, under the direction of the WADA Executive Commitee and Foundation Board should cease or alter as a result of Mr. Lamour's precipitate change of mind, in the face of an electoral challenge.

Click here for the correspondence between Mr. Lamour and Mr. Pound.

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IT is chilling to witness implosions at an International Nongovernmental Organization of such weight as WADA carries in the sporting world.

WADAwatch can only hope that the presidency of John Fahey, if elected as apparently there are no other candidates to present themselves, will sooth the turbulent WADAwaters, and aid WADAwatch to promote consistency in science and legal practice, within the world of doping and sport.

Watch WADA


The 2007 WADA Questionnaire for laboratories...

This post is being published (nearly) simultaneously at:

+ + + + crystelZENmud and WADAwatch + + + +

A questionnaire for the WADA-accredited laboratories was laboriously elaborated, fine-tuned and published, to request information of a public nature. It was emailed to each of the WADA-accredited labs via the email addresses that were public record via the WADA website. Nearly one hundred hours of legal-training, and evaluation-training, went in to the drafting of this document.

It also put these publicly-financed entities 'on notice' that the world was watching them, and WADA, as that organization (publicly-financed through contributions from governments and Sporting Federations) bore down on the month of November 2007: the month in which WADA would 'elect' its new President, to replace outgoing iconoclastic Dick Pound, and approve the changes that had been drafted into the WADA CODE 2003 (soon becoming WADA CODE 2007).

The Questionnaire was only eight pages long (another link to it here), and a DISCLAIMER advised the recipients (from each of the then-34 laboratories) that the Questionnaire had no (Zero) affiliation with WADA, nor was it sponsored, nor approved in advance, by WADA.

The Questionnaire was also sent to these laboratories on three separate occasions, to ensure timely attention to the important issues that were presented.

TODAY, ZENmud productions announces the results.



Not one laboratory, in the interests of transparent, independent research, was capable or inclined towards revealing its institutional opinion on the issues that were raised, by crystelZENmud.

Not one laboratory went on the record, with its stated goals for improving their own performance, and that of their co-Signatory institution labs;

Not one laboratory preferred to show the world that self-evaluation and self-improvement were a part of their agenda for the WADA World Conference on Doping in Sport.

Are these laboratories perfect? If they were, cases would not be falling apart as they have from many cycling-world incidents, and many more beyond.

What were the issues that these laboratories avoided answering? Not very difficult to list them:

  1. Were labs satisfied as to WADA's ability to uphold 'universal harmonization' as found in the WADA CODE Introduction? (Question 1)
  2. Is the FUNDAMENTAL RATIONAL applicable to Athletes only, or other Signatories (such as labs), in terms of 'respect for rules and laws'? (Q 3)
  3. Should the 'presumption' provided for lab work, found in Article 3.2.1, which allows labs an advantage as to the quality of their lab work, be coupled to an Article that would offer means whereby a lab could be suspended or discredited if its work were found to be sub-standard? (Q 4)
  4. Does Article 6.4 of the WADA CODE need amplification, or should a new sub-Article of the CODE be introduced, which would create a mechanism for WADA to address Signatories' requests for investigation of a lab, upon well-founded bases for investigation of lab test results, or results management issues? (Q 5)

As author of this Questionnaire, ZENmud Central is saddened that the laboratories chose not to respond: they will receive a final chance to do so in Madrid, at the WADA World Conference on Doping in Sport.

Did ZENmud productions really anticipate voluntary disclosure of such information?

Yes! The news we receive, especially from the cycling world, is an amalgam of intrigue, testing failures and laboratory 'vacations' (read: 'work stoppages' or STRIKES)

If a change of heart possesses any of the laboratories, crystelZENmud will post results in the future: but it looks bleak at the present, for 'transparency' to reign in WADA-world.

Watch WADA-accredited laboratories


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Late "Weekend news" Roundup

WADAwatch readers may already have caught these stories, that have appeared since last Saturday or so...

Testers get head start on cheats (
29 Oct. 2007)

Two new, experimental drugs that help build powerful muscles have already been added to the 2008 World Anti-Doping Agency banned list. But, significantly, the testers have worked alongside the scientists developing the new drugs, which could help cancer sufferers and people with muscular dystrophy, to also develop a detection method.

WADAwatch wants to emphasize wholeheartedly, that this form of development of new pharmaceutical preparations is the right way to procede in determining how to detect a substance prior to its release in the legitimate medical markets.

Cycling Union Takes Leap in Fight Against Doping (
24 Oct. 2007)

Hysteria sells, absolute hysteria sells absolutely: an article from the New York Times on cycling, offers us a look at how the UCI is preventing a Mad-Max'ian end to the world of cycling:

After a wave of doping scandals so grave and widespread they threatened to crush the sport of cycling, the International Cycling Union has agreed to let a laboratory create biological records of its top riders in yet another effort to catch cheats. that

WADAwatch would like to inform Ms Juliet Macur that a bias against cycling in the media, which has persistently refused to investigate the standard performances of the laboratory that 'gave us' all these superlatively banale 'crises', in cycling, is more the culpret - as much as the writing of her many colleagues without sources beyond 'L'Equipe' - and welcomes the opportunity to provide her with one or two dynamic sources.

In fact, it would be nice to have encountered Ms Macur at the Icelandic conference 'Play the Game', billed as:

"the fifth world communication conference on sport and society"

Which leads us to this article at (
29 Oct. 2007)

220 people gather in Reykjavik to discuss ways to end corruption in sport

No one knows the exact extent of corruption in sport, but experts estimate that we only hear about five per cent of all cases – the rest is hidden. Today, Play the Game welcomed 220 delegates to the fifth world communication conference on sport and society in Reykjavik and one of the key objectives is to throw light into some of the darker corners of sports governance.

Given that WADA's published statistics for 2006 show that in all international testing of cycling, at the 'Olympic and non-Olympic' levels, shows a universal rate of 4.17 per cent of tests being positive, this indicates that this author's 'experts' believe that 20 times, or nearly 82 % of cyclists are cheating the system.

That boggles the mind, if it means in fact that the TRUE TESTING capabilities found in WADA's accredited laboratories are so below standards, that tehy are failing to find 95 per cent of the 'positive doping cases' as the sponsors of 'Play the Game' would lead us to believe?

WADAwatch hesitated before publishing this next article, but has done so to force the discussion of the issue within a Bloomberg piece, namely: should journalists broadcast the means to cheat against a drug-test?

Athletes Fool Test of Banned Drug by Using Soap, Scientist Says (Oct. 29, 2007)

A few grains of household soap powder can destroy the banned drug EPO in an athlete's urine sample, wrecking a test that cost $2 million to develop, said Mario Thevis, an anti-doping researcher in Cologne, Germany.

Scientists made the discovery after a former Tour de France cyclist said he was given an unidentified powder to sabotage surprise tests, said Thevis, who works at the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited biochemistry unit of German Sports University.

This clearly provides some leads to information that could be of benefit to any athlete that 'risks' being discovered because of his or her doping problem. However, overcoming the argument not to publish is the evidence of the ongoing difficulty in fighting doping in sport... which, it must be emphasized, is absolutely the pure motivation for WADAwatch to have become what it is.

As long as the testing and results-management are legitimate, reproducible and consistant around the world, WADAwatch is the strongest trumpet for clean sport.

Watch WADA


Friday, 26 October 2007

Week of 22-26 October News Wrap-up

A busy week professionally at ZENmud Productions, so here are some headlines that shouldn't be missed:

The Guardian reports on the EU sport ministers' regard for the abrupt resignation (as candidate for President of WADA, and as current Vice-president of same):

EU slams Lamour over WADA withdrawal, unsure on Fahey

LISBON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - European Union sports ministers criticised Frenchman Jean-Francois Lamour on Thursday over his decision to withdraw from the race to become president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The 27 ministers also failed to give their backing to Australia's John Fahey who is now the only candidate for the top anti-doping post, due to be voted on next month.

Headlines speak for themselves sometimes:

Dick Pound assails Jean-Francois Lamour after withdrawal from WADA presidential race

Associated Press Sports

Updated: 12:22 p.m. ET Oct. 19, 2007

LONDON (AP) -World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound accused former French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour of making "false and defamatory'' remarks when he announced his withdrawal as a candidate for president of the body.

Pound issued a sharply worded statement Friday rebutting Lamour's attacks on WADA following his decision to resign as a vice president of the agency and pull out of the presidential election.

"If Mr. Lamour is unable or unwilling to campaign to convince the governments ... that he should continue to represent them as WADA's next president, then perhaps he is not the right person to be entrusted with the leadership,'' Pound said...

In another subject, with a not-very-clear headline, Reuters reports (As carried by MSNBC) that the EU Sports Ministers have a mission to take on and improve their national legislations regarding doping in sport:

EU warns states over implementing anti-doping laws

By Darren Ennis
Updated: 8:18 a.m. ET Oct. 25, 2007

LISBON - European countries who do not sign up to anti-doping laws by the end of 2008 should not be allowed to bid for major international sports events such as the Olympics, European Union sports ministers agreed on Thursday.

A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report in April said 23 European states had still not signed up to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation convention.

[Ed. note: WADAwatch is aware of this WADA report from MAY 2007, with an effective date of April 12, 2007, that has a table for each region or continent's status as to signing the UNESCO treaty; it is unclear if that is the 'April report' to which Mr. Ennis refers...]

Silence reigns now on the Iban Mayo 'Hold the Mayo' testing results, as were the subject of these prior WADAwatch posts:

Lastly, sister publication crystelZENmud is preparing to publish the rather bleak results that have been received for its Questionnaire for WADA Labs 2007, which does not bode well for any rational redrafting of the WADA CODE and its subsidiary Laboratory and Testing documents. Scheduled for 1 November, 2007, that publication is surely going to be influencing the International Federations that are Signatories to the WADA system.

Watch WADA


Thursday, 25 October 2007

Was the French Lab ... ON STRIKE?

Anyone following the now-world-famous Iban Mayo EPO test fiasco is surely aware by now, that the French Lab formerly called the LNDD (now the AFLD département des analyses: "D.d.A.") was, perhaps irregularly, replaced as a testing facility, to administer the Mayo 'B Confirmation sample' testing.

This action came about by executive decision of the UCI, which contracts for testing services at the races being run under its rules, on a daily basis for those participating elite riders. This is standard, and done as such because the pro cyclists are holding UCI licenses through their national Cycling Federations.

But at WADAwatch, a new theory is brewing, that the D.d.A., which suffered brutal and embarrassing exposure to its "laissez-faire" hiring and training of technicians through the Floyd Landis 'testosterone' hearings in May of 2007, has simply, and irrevocably....................
gone bureaucratically..............

(OR! Maybe I
have watched too many Kubrick films?)

How does one provide electroshock therapy to a group such as the D.d.A.?

Forgive my extremely-expressed doubts, but this is certainly becoming an intolerable situation, for the world that watches, and the cyclists who are fearing to participate.

For an accredited laboratory to call up that International Federation that is paying it to perform testing, at the singular most prestigious annual sporting event, the Tour de France, and inform them that...

"the doors are to be shut, and that the work-in-progress cannot be finished, because 'Zees ees ze time for ze vacations." absurd.

Or... pathetic?

If only Stanley Kubrick were still alive, among us to write a script with ZENmud productions...

Taking Humbert Humbert from Lolita, Dr Strangelove from... yes, the movie itself, or Dr Ludivico from A Clockwork Orange, and our favorite HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey; there is truth in art, as surely if not more than that 'truth' found in the recent WADA-accredited laboratory 'fiascos'... a word that cannot oft enough be repeated.

But how did UCI, which has known about the apparent failures in the French LNDD-D.d.A. laboratory for some three years or more, take the actions that sent the Mayo 'B Confirmation sample' to Ghent, a separate lab, in a differenct country?

As previously cited, here and elsewhere, Anne Gripper, the relatively recently-appointed
UCI anti-doping Czarina, has been cited in discussing, in a somewhat uncomprehendingly (to this author) manner, the consequent steps of a potential AAF.

The fall-out from this Summer's Tour de France certainly left the Union Cycliste Internationale with some strange questions to answer, from Tour de France organizers, competitors, teams and the Press.

Was the strain too much?

Or... a SWAG (Stupid, wild-ass guess) moment: did the D.d.A. simply go on strike?

Could Professeur Jacques de Ceaurriz have taken a vacation, along with his entire staff, at the same August period last summer when they were feverishly claiming Floyd Landis' culpability?

It doesn't flow, in WADAwatch-think, that we've never heard discussion of the then-LNDD being under constraints by a national French vacation ritual.

Where will the truth fall, who wins and who loses, when the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) rules are not followed by those whose jobs depend on their continual scientific accuracy, their unwavering ethical priorities, or is their 'Stick it!' attitude towards a world that doesn't comprehend, what is the dominant factor?

There are only three weeks until the WADA World Conference in Madrid, and frankly, WADA has a lot of un-drafted modifications necessary to perform the task it has taken on.

WADAwatch believes that the first order of business in Madrid, on November 15th, is to entertain a motion NOT to approve the newly-revised WADA CODE 2007.

For the betterment of sport, it is imperative that similar discussions to append and improve the work of laboratories take precedence over any tightening of controls on the Athletes who are reeling under the weight of mis-applied testing procedures and un-harmonious standards around the world...

Please contact your national laboratory, if you reside in one of the countries that has one or more of the now-33 accredited laboratories, and ask them to respond to the questions that they were presented weeks ago, in the crystelZENmud Questionnaire for WADA laboratories.

And never EVER stop thinking that we must, together,

Watch! WADA

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Mayo and the LNDD 'Breach of Contract'

Does it dawn on the rest of the Sporting world, as it does to WADAwatch, that according to the regulations found in the WADA CODE, in Articles 7 (Results Management), Article 8 (Right to a Fair Hearing) and 14 (Confidentiality and Reporting), that no one, anywhere in the entire world of journalists, UCI, TdF staff: no one, has the right to be discussing the Iban Mayo case as of today?

The words cannot be more clear and precise:

The identity of Athletes whose Samples have resulted in Adverse Analytical Findings, or Athletes or other Persons who were alleged by an Anti-doping Organization to have violated other anti-doping rules, may be publicly disclosed by the Anti-doping Organization with results management responsibility no earlier than completion of the administrative review in Articles 7.1 and 7.2.

Suffice it to inform that Articles 7.1 and 7.2 are how to inform an Athlete of the A Sample test, and also in 7.2 how to proceed through the B Confirmation test, and attain a laboratory documentation package from the laboratory which performed the testing.

Another blatant violation of a cyclist's rights?

Watch! WADA

Is French Lab in Breach of Contract???

WADAwatch was interested in the aspects surrounding the news of the Iban Mayo EPO case, that came to light on 23 October 2007, via news reports (Reuters, the Canadian Press, VeloNews or, en français, l'Equipe) of 'unreadable' B Sample conclusions in the Belgian laboratory in Ghent.

Several amazing aspects of this case have come to mind, and this short post again will only touch on those.

The first aspect is this: as a 'Major Event Organization', the Amaury Sport Organization, operating the Tour de France as a UCI-licensed ProTour event (whether they appreciate that august distinction is a different story), is obliged to provide doping-testing services and facilities, which, for as long as this author knows, have been contracted out to the former Laboratoire Nationale du dépistage du dopage (LNDD), which is now renamed the 'département des analyses' under the Agence française de lutte antidopage.

WADAwatch is amazed, that in the contract that encumbers the above-mentioned parties, that the 'LNDD-cum-DDA' is provided to take a vacation during the middle of their most important, perhaps highest-paying, and certainly the most media-attracting series of tests that they perform annually.

While discussing this, does anyone recall that former 2006 Tour de France victor Floyd Landis, based his arguments on the incapacities (or incompetences) found in the violations of multiple regulations that govern the WADA-accredited labs? He requested his B Confirmation samples be tested at a separate facility, a request that he was denied.

So it is impressive to see that now, apparently, in 2007, the laboratory that is best known as a recidivist agent for leaking A Sample test results to the French sporting journal l'Equipe, decided it was more important to shut down for vacation, than to perform the terms of the contract that they held, perhaps with UCI, perhaps with TdF, perhaps with the Federation française de cyclisme, whoever...

So that Iban Mayo's samples were expedited off to the laboratory in Ghent, Belgium, where they were found 'illegible'.

So the next query, is how did a 'clear positive' A Sample show up in a separate laboratory, and become illegible? Was it mishandled? Improperly stored? Defrosted and then re-frozen? Is the Chain of Custody no help in providing additional information?

And while the Spanish cycling federation had previously proclaimed this B sample to be 'negative', the UCI (and Pat McQuaid, President, as well as Anne Gripper) wants the sample brought back to the LNDD-Département des analyses for a second, 'readable' testing session.

Is this fair to Iban Mayo?

Fair that LNDD, in the priorities it apparently holds dear, which, provisionally, are:
  • a) to leak 'A Sample' results to l'Equipe,
  • b) go on vacation,
  • c) perform its contractual duties
Remember clearly written in the rules, is an aspect of confidentiality, which apparently in France only relates clearly, in law, to the marital life of its President, and his recent divorce.

Is this fair, that two labs within several hours of each other, and both accredited by WADA, cannot perform a test in the 'reasonable time' that the law requires?

Anne Gripper was quoted as having said (by the CanadianPress website):

"To ensure that the rider could have the B done more quickly, we transferred the sample, but the Ghent laboratory just couldn't get the sample to confirm the Paris" result, Gripper said.

Read that carefully, literally. Were those her true words?

It is not in the WADA CODE, or International Standard for Laboratories, nor the International Standard for testing, that a B Sample 'must confirm the Paris result'.

Translation error? Typing error?

An A Sample test, done objectively, professionally and by the WADA regulations, must reveal results that are reproducible. Data must be protected. Files must be correct, and the Chain of Custody impeccable. The B Sample may reveal that the A sample test is not accurate.

'Insuring that the rider could have the B result more quickly' is not what the rules state.

Now between WADA, UCI and the French or Belgian laboratories, it is hard to believe that Mayo hasn't a pure case of laboratory intransigence, or malfeasance, on which to proceed in justice. UCI itself, in publishing the Vrijman report, has been on notice about the apparent scientific capacities of the French laboratory, and if perhaps it has, itself, been used by this laboratory, would be a sad event,

In WADAwatch's opinion.

Watch! WADA

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The LAST STRAW in France... the Iban Mayo case

One could hardly have predicted this, and WADAwatch must take the evening to absorb and finesse a new exposé on the former LNDD laboratory, which now stands in the light of pure conceit or incompetence.

There is no doubt now, that it is at least one of those two.

Given the news today, from Reuters:

"We are waiting for the Spanish federation's report but anyway, the 'B' sample will be tested again in Paris," McQuaid told Reuters.

"The Paris lab was closed when the sample was to be tested and it was tested in Ghent," McQuaid added.

This post will be elaborated on between now and Friday, but there is clear proof that the AFLD 'département des analyses' has no respect for the job it is charged with. A lab that prefers to go on vacation, instead of studiously performing its tasks in an expeditious manner, should not be allowed to retain WADA accreditation.

After it tried to sabotage Lance Armstrong...

After it tried to sabotage Floyd Landis...

Now Iban Mayo...

Much much much more to come...

Watch! WADA

Monday, 22 October 2007

Les Surprises d'Octobre

This post is carried simultaneously at and

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What a week we'll be witnessing, from outside closed doors...

Conclusion? A Mirror...

In the heart of France, on the 22nd and 23rd of October, the French Minister for Sport and Youth, Madame-Docteur Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, is going to be cracking heads, or hearts, as she hosts within the walls of the French Committé Olympique, a closed-door 'High Level Summit on Doping in Cycling”.

As meager as the press coverage has been, attendance is apparently limited to officials representiing: WADA, cycling's three Grand Tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France (owned by the group ASO), Vuelta de Espagne), the French Cycling Federation, the Agence Française du Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD), and 'others', perhaps of European governments, the IOC, etc. Some 150 total participants should be sipping Evian or a fine Bordeaux, while discussing the ramifications of certain contrasting actions that have been digested over this last amazing year of 2007.

A snapshot of noteworthy items would have to include:

a: the ASO-instigated fight against inclusion of the UCI ProTour team in the lineup of teams competing in the spring race 'Paris-Nice';

b: the revelations produced in the Floyd Landis hearings, from his allegedly positive 2006 TdF test for testosterone use, which implicated the French testing lab LNDD for its multitudinous lapses, in the application of standard international rules defining sports-doping test procedures;

c: the pre-Tour de France exclusion of Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, as a result of lingering suspicions centered on the curious Operacion Puerto affair in Spain, and its attention on the career of Dr. Fuentes;

d: the tardy (yet hope-filled) confessions of Bjarne Riis and Erik Zabel, of their EPO use in 1996, while under the Deutsche Telekom team colors;

e: the near-daily revelations, during the second and third weeks of the 2007 Tour de France, of rider's pre-Tour infractions, such as Michael Rasmussen, the Danish racer who wore the Yellow Jersey, accused of missing mandated testing procedures by the infraction of not informing the
Union Cycliste Internationale of his pre-Tour whereabouts, the properly-delayed but annoying (to Tour director Christian Prudhomme, and ASO president Patrice Clerc) announcement of German rider Patrik Sinkewitz' positive test for testosterone, another in-Tour test for blood transfusion, that was brought against Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov, then another positive test, which implicated an Italian rider for a French cycling team – Cristian Moreni – and for all of these envenomed the excruciating relations between the TdF/ASO and the UCI

f: recent news that the French Agency AFLD would reinstate its own litigation against Floyd Landis, creating an unprecedented and highly suspect 'double jeopardy' situation of two sports-arbitration cases for one test at one event under one set of (UCI) rules, due to the potentially-devastating news that the next year's Tour de France may not be run under the auspices of the UCI.

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So once again, this week?

Monday and Tuesday, the above-named players will be meeting for their closed-door session, in the midst of other unfolding news-items.

The biggest one on the sports-doping radar screen, come from the sour-grapes pronouncements of Jean-Pierre Lamour, who's anticipated reign as the Second 'Grand Inquisitor' of WADA (succeeding President Dick Pound of Canada) was nixed by a considerable candidate's presentation: former Australian government Minister John Fahey, whose candidature was abruptly promoted by a meeting of the WADA Executive Committee nearly a month ago.

Lamour will probably be there; whether Fahey is invited remains to be seen.

Monsieur Lamour, apparently as cocky as was Dick Pound during the greater part of his reign, let fly a few news-IED bombs as loud as the door he slammed against his own backside. Insinuations he offered included hints that WADA was taking a 'ten year leap backward', that 'WADA was about to open the door to greater 'flexibility' through its CODE revisions, and most importantly, that he would potentially become involved in a new, European-centered anti-doping agency that would not suffer the problems inherent in WADA.

Talk about the love of a minister scorned... remembering that it was J-F Lamour himself, that was the French Minister of Sport and Youth, whose Ministry oversaw the LNDD lab during both the unseemly 'Armstrong case' and the 'Affaire Landis', and whose Ministry was both antagonistic towards the UCI investigation of the Armstrong case, AND was under suspicion during and after these, as a source of the leaks to the journal l'Equipe regarding these and other leaks of 'A Sample' test results.

Other amazing moments came out in a recent (September 18, 2007) interview in, where Patrice Clerc was all over the game board in discussing how offended was his company, the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), by the attitude and actions of the UCI, with whom the 'Grand Tours' have been battling all the issues surrounding the inception of the ProTour cycling concept, initiatives of the UCI (including this year's French court case, their (above) exclusion from the Paris-Nice and Tour de France events, and the doping issues.

Unfortunately Monsieur Clerc has no memory, nor apparently any desire to discuss, those endless leaks of doping revelations that stem from the ASO-owned newspaper l'Equipe, the French national sporting journal. Had he been honest with himself and with (who should themselves be hanging their heads for not asking about this issue), he might have addressed these constant leaking incidents, that undermine any Athletes' rights of privacy and process, specifically in the case where l'Equipe published its 2005 article, timed for two weeks after the end of the Tour de France, entitled 'Les Mensonges d'Armstrong', which insinuated that Lance was on EPO in 1999.

And as those leaks came from either the French Ministry (which controls the LNDD laboratory – thus whether that equates with one or two entities is a secondary thought), or WADA, both of whom are key players in the fight against doping in sport, to l'Equipe, there is ample grounds to suspect that there is a bit of 'cover-me, cover-you' corruption that belies the strident WADA message about 'harmonizing the battle against doping in sport': a foundation of the fundamental message found in the Introduction to the WADA CODE.

The practical substance of these revelations, including the great interactions with the French Ministry-sponsored conference, the AFLD second-spin Landis-doping case, the Lamour/Fahey/WADA dénouement, all creating an implosive whirlpool at the very heart, and future, of cycling itself.

But all of the outlined points, above steer us only to the early part of the week; later, on October 25th, is the usual annual announcement of next year's 2008 Tour de France route. Reading Patrice Clerc's interview, with the discussions of the impossibility of working with the UCI, mentions of national teams and other doping agencies' involvement, leaves the average cycling fan whirling and wondering if all of it is worth the price of sustained interest by the sports-consumer?

Given what you've read above, the amalgam of these events symbolizes something that is bedrock-shattering. A point not to be missed in the evolution of this week is that, unlike many other sports, cycling has had a long history of 'airing its dirty laundry' in public, with every opportunity for the sporting press to make cycling into a laughing stock, while it could be presented legitimately as the one sport that is suffering the most, while undertaking the greatest effort to clean its own ranks.

Soon, members of these entities, present at these meetings, in Paris, Madrid and elsewhere, will have an opportunity to prove their love for cycling, or their love of their own inflated and destructive egos.

Whether they choose to do, that which the world could proudly remember them for their involvement, or that for which the world would sadly remember their involvement, remains to be seen, very soon.

Thus: A MIRROR...

... is the best thing that every participant to these 'Summit' meetings could bring to the table, to remind themselves:

“I am watching my own professional actions, as is the world, for whom I work at this table.”

Watch! WADA


Friday, 19 October 2007

NEWS update: Reuters on CAS and the Landis case

WADAwatch found an interesting Reuters article, which offers some analysis of how the CAS tribunal operates. Read the full article for more details.

The article is entitled:

"Landis appeal throws spotlight on sports court"

In it they make this comment:

"Landis can perhaps draw more comfort from the fact that CAS has frequently sided against sporting bodies that failed to follow proper test procedures or correctly enact anti-doping legislation."

Given the known 'points of uncertainty' (not to be confused with 'measurement uncertainty') that were prevalent in this case, it is very much a case of an appeal that calls into question the entire embodiment of what WADA represents, how it presents itself, and how it intends to rectify what may be innocent oversights, or natural evolution, of a young and growing system.

Yet the system must be fair, as the CAS tribunal has repeatedly noted, both in past litigations before WADA, and in recent ones. As the CAS stated in the Landaluce case (somewhat similar conditions to Mr Landis' case):

117. In any case, the present decision does not constitute a declaration of innocence of Mr Landaluce with regard to the antidoping rules. Mr Landaluce merely benefits from a rule that is formal and yet fundamental, which aims to guarantee the rights of persons subject to doping control tests.

IF the world asks 'when will cyclists learn they cannot get away with doping?', then the world has to respond in asking "When are the laboratories that are accredited by WADA going to learn THEIR lessons?".

Fair is fair... and formal... and fundamental... with guarantees...

Watch! WADA


Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS-CAS)

In the greater analysis, having a centralized Sport Arbitration mechanism is and was a worthy development, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, sited in Lausanne, Switzerland, has benefited from a series of reforms, since its conception in 1981, under newly-elected Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch, and its inception in the period 1983-1984.

A copy of its History can be found at this link
(click in the right-side column for bookmarked items).

A copy of its Statutes may be found here.

Attention of those who follow Sports Arbitration decisions, such as that taken against Floyd Landis, by the American Arbitration Association hearings in the spring of 2007 and their decision taken at the end of the summer (September 2007), now turns across the ocean to Switzerland, for the final stage of this process.

Sadly, not to be content with the processes that exist and to which it is a Signatory of WADA-AMA, the French Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD), has announced this week that it will undertake a separate procedure against the Pennsylvanian, for what it states to be a lacune in the USADA procedure of this summer.

That is specifically tied to the long-standing feud between the organisers of the Tour de France, owned by the Amaury Sport Organization, and the direction of the Union Cycliste International, whose promotion of its ProTour concept has chafed Event Managers for its entire existence.
(Teams inscribed as ProTour members are mandatory 'invités' for the three Grand Tours of cycling, which inhibits organizers from selecting teams of a lesser caliber, but with a greater sponsorship and focus on those three countries: Italy, France or Spain)

Thus AFLD proposes that, if the Tour de France is no longer a certified UCI event, but becomes a French Cycling Federation-authorized event, there is a chance that Mr. Landis could have been allowed to race, if he were only banned for two years from UCI-sanctioned events.

So while the world will accept the CAS decision, due between now and mid-February, apparently France needs to reassert its independence, against the principles of this WADA-based, harmonized fight against doping/cheating.

WADAwatch decries the adolescent attitudes that are prevailing, to beat down their opponents, to the great detriment of a massively-popular sport.

WADAwatch urges the WADA Secretariat to wake UP!

There are many significant issues that have been ignored in its hasty and ill-conceived packet of re-drafted Articles, to the WADA CODE, and other associated documents.

Watch! WADA


Thursday, 18 October 2007

Lab to be established in Nigeria

Nigeria is en route to have its own Sports Doping laboratory, says the African-based website ThisDayOnLine.

In an article published Wednesday, the 17th October 2007, the news coincides with a visit to Nigeria by the WADA "Education and Ethics Department":

In furtherance of efforts by Nigeria to fight the menace of doping in sports, the National Sports Commission (NSC) has concluded plans to commission her own Anti Doping Laboratory before the end of this year.

NSC Chairman Barrister Abdulrhaman Gimba disclosed this yesterday while receiving members of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Education and Ethics Department who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

Gimba, while decrying the negative influence of drugs in sports, said the shame of any athlete’s involvement was not on the athlete and members of his family alone but on the whole country in question.

The article does not describe interaction with WADA in terms of future accreditation.

Information from the WADA site in relation to the actions of Nigeria, only confirm that the "
WADA Education Traveling (sic) Seminar in Nigeria" is to take place on the dates mentioned above.

Watch! WADA

WADA v AFLD v Lamour and the Landis Case

Article 13.2 et seq. of the WADA CODE 2007 v3, covers appeals in sport arbitrations. Briefly, if an Athlete loses in a doping determination, he or she may appeal, either for a final national or Federational decision, or to CAS (The Court of Arbitration for Sport) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

If, on the other hand, the Athlete succeeds in proving his or her case, and is vindicated, watch out!
WADA has continued its support of its list of potential parties that may force that Athlete back 'into court' (as noted above), include (quoting CODE 2007 v3: Article 13.2.3):

(b) the other party to the case in which the decision was rendered; (c) the relevant International Federation and any other; (d) the National Anti-Doping Organization under whose rules a sanction could have been imposed; (d)of the Person’s country of residence; the International Olympic Committee or International Paralympic Committee, as applicable, where the decision may have an effect in relation to the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, including decisions affecting eligibility for the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games; and (e) WADA.

Whatever the issue had been, that was arbitrated, how can it be fair, reasonable and effective, to force an Athlete who had demonstrated and received a supporting Decision against the charges of doping facing him or herself, to face potentially a multiple of appeals?

There is no mention in the CODE 2003, of any judicial streamlining, or 'piggybacking' of these appeals. For a case such as that of Floyd Landis, who is currently appealing the American Arbitration Association decision against him, for
testosterone charges brought against him via the Laboratoire National du dépistage du dopage (LNDD) stemming from his participation in the 2006 Tour de France, he is the sole party that can appeal.

However, if the AAA had ruled that Floyd did not use testosterone, the USADA, the USA Cycling Federation, or AFLD (French Doping Agency), the UCI (cycling Federation), and WADA, all are potential appellants.

How can the CODE be 'revised', while leaving this injustice for the next four years or so?

At a minimum, some sub-Article could be drafted, that called for the multiple parties who have the right to appeal, to be brought to CAS as one appellate action.

Certainly it appears in the analysis, that WADA hoped to create a machine that would destroy the incentives for Athletes to wage an appeal, in the case where it could be demonstrated that evidence was tainted, or ignored, or hidden from the Athlete, or that the rendered Decision did not appear to account for the base of evidence presented.

While arbitration in concept offers expediency and thus (usually) lower costs, it carries a price to the weaker parties, when 'politics' in any nature can be brought into play.

An example of this, outside the world of Sport, can be found at the World Intellectual Property Organization, which offers an Arbitration service for Internet Trademark/Domain Name disputes. These often fall under the known rubric of 'cybersquatting', where an entity may register a domain name in the hopes that its real-world TM owner may then pay that entity for relinquishing the domain. An overwhelming majority of those cases are determined in favor of the TM owner.

And whether or not those decisions are based on the merits of the case, the system itself exists because Attorneys are accepted on to the list of potential Arbitrators, and they may feel innately pressured to provide opinions that would not jeopardize their remaining in service via that list.

In conclusion, WADA approaches its Conference against Doping in Sport, in four weeks, at Madrid, with a variety of legal issues that it apparently prefers not to resolve:

The Right of Appeal is one of the biggest, in this series of lacunae.

Watch! WADA

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Earlier today WADAwatch published the following post:

WADA News FLASH: Lamour candidature apparently dead in the water

Through various news sources, Lamour is credited with 'hinting' at "the possibility of participating in the creation of a "European plan" against doping."

WADAwatch hopes that this is not a display of 'sour grapes', and also hopes that any 'European plan' would be even more transparent, and even more rigorous, than that which is the WADA system as we know it today, and as some fear its transformation in the tomorrows to come.

As a reminder, Jean-François Lamour is the outgoing Vice-President of WADA, a Minister within the Chirac government, and hierarchic supervisor to the thoroughly disastrous LNDD French laboratory, now renamed the AFLD 'département des analyses', with whatever loss of prestige that name-change may implicate.

As always,

Watch! WADA

WADA: Aggravating circumstance

In the latest version of the WADA CODE, available online to the world since Monday, the new version retains its new sub-Article 10.6, on:
"Aggravating Circumstances Which May Increase the Period of Ineligibility"

WADAwatch simply wants it on the record, that WADA has published this same clause three times this year, without determining the need to add 'Aggravating Circumstances' to its list of definitions.

If it does not do so, endless arbitrations will indubitably ensue from the ambiguity that arises.

At the English-language, American-law website, the following definition of 'aggravated circumstances' is provided:

Circumstances that increase the seriousness or outrageousness of a given crime, and that in turn increase the wrongdoer's penalty or punishment. For example, the crime of aggravated assault is a physical attack made worse because it is committed with a dangerous weapon, results in severe bodily injury or is made in conjunction with another serious crime. Aggravated assault is usually considered a felony, punishable by a prison sentence.

While WADA has admittedly offered a series of 'examples', WADAwatch believes strongly that this new sub-Article should be reinforced by an impartial and objective definition of the term itself, that Signatories can be on notice of, and for which Governments can incorporate this change into applicable legislation, where such may be ordained.

When offering such a clause, which may as well be named the 'Floyd Landis Retaliation sub-Article', designed to promote capitulation and discourage arbitration of sport-doping cases (which could be more positively pursued through means of enforced laboratory performance, and testing standardization, as well as the famous 'presumption' found in CODE Article 3.2.1), it behooves an Organization that stands for, and exists to:

"[.....] ensure harmonized, coordinated and effective anti-doping programs at the international and national level with regard to detection, deterrence and prevention of doping."

... that it mandate a proper definition of what entails 'aggravating circumstances'.


Watch! WADA

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