Monday, 30 June 2008

Prepare for the Worst... An ASO-FFC renegade Tour de France

(as we wait today, Monday the Last day of June, 2008,
for the imminent publication of the Landis CAS decision,
news comes from Trusted sources that a certain
WADAwatch piece was included in Arnie Baker's WikiDefense2.0;
thank you Dr Baker)

How do pro cyclists spell C*O*N*F*U*S*I*O*N???

The cycling world is waiting with bated breath for the depart, this Saturday, of the first modern Tour de France to be held outside the legal auspices of the Union Cycliste Internationale. The onus of this development lies solely on the Organization that owns the Tour. This private corporation could not undertake such an effort, without express consent and aid of the French Government. The liability for any untoward events, involving staff or riders, spectators or others, lies solely in the hands and insurances of two organizations.

Palliative assurances offered by both the renegade French Cycling Federation, and its outlaw partners from the Tour de France organization, a subsidiary of the French company Amaury Sport Organization, insist that all “is going to be fine”.

Or 'fined'?

We've heard about the unprecedented anti–doping fines that ASO has devised, within the contracts each participating Team has signed. These will be levied from teams having a rider 'convicted' for a doping infraction. Verdicts are anticipated to be announced within 24 hours of the A Sample control analysis.

We know now, that in France, there is no need for a B Sample control analysis, because 'we know' that the French National lab: LNDD, is going to be in charge of doping analysis. And in spite of our not yet knowing whether the LNDD is about to lose, perhaps, its second cycling–testosterone case from its 2006 'testing season', these Teflon–slick French “rules” will provide a curious conflict–of–interest situation.

LNDD, which lost one case (Landaluce) last year, due to its failure to observe a clear and simple WADA – UCI rule prohibiting lab staff from having any substantive role in the performance of the B Sample analysis, if they performed the A Sample analysis, has 'volunteered' its anti–doping service to this year's TdF. Formerly this was a charge–per–analysis fee system, that was paid to LNDD by either the UCI or the TdF organization (or in combination).

This year the doping control analyses are to be provided free–of–charge, by the AFLD. And any team that 'gets caught' by LNDD, will be paying a 100 thousand Euro fine, which moneys aparently go to the FFC, recently suspended by the UCI until the end of 2008. With the lack of substantive funding formerly provided to LNDD, a substantial sum of money totalling tens or hundreds of thousands of Euros net, to it and its parent agency, the AFLD. Remember: FFC is forced to fund the aspects of this renegade Tour de France that previously were charged to the UCI. Teams that have riders 'busted' under this barely–tested system will, de facto, be subsidizing the French cycling Federation.

Moreover, under this precarious French ad–hoc 'Legal process', doping violations will not require more than 24 hours to render a verdict, very similar to how the second and illegitimate process run in France against Floyd Landis was resolved, as noted by WADAwatch several times: remember that his verdict was announced within hours of the receipt of Landis' last and most substantial submission of his legal documentation.

Here's the sticky part.

The FFC, which is currently under suspension by the UCI, will 'convict' riders under its rules, which rely many times on UCI rules, and those convicted riders, will not have been 'convicted' under either WADA or UCI approved regulations.

So would any 'suspended' Tour de France rider, who has been 'convicted' in this renegade Tour under an ad–hoc French regulatory structure without international legal basis or support, be considered suspended anywhere else than in France?

France has pridefully announced that its legal procedures won't pass through the internationally–agreed channels (French arbitrations, rather than CAS in Lausanne); we know from close examination of the illegitimate French decision concerning Landis, that any 'French legal process' regarding sport doping cases is suspect. Should this be added to the long list of evidence, provided by WADAwatch and ignored by all public media, of France's multiple failures to abide by the WADA CODE and its second–level ISL and IST?

Appeals to any decision taken by the French Chamber of Arbitration for Sport (under the French Olympic Committee) will be handled... how? Where?

France has stipulated that the Court of Arbitration for Sport would not be involved. Is the French government, which has enabled every step taken by ASO, the FFC, the AFLD and the French Ministry for Sport, likely to bitchslap its subordinates back into international good standing, or is it more likely to provide support for this ASO–led mutiny?

And, if not appealed to the CAS, is any action taken by this unilateral French alliance of government and business (Political scientists would note how this brushes dangerously near the definition of classic fascism) supported by the new WADA administration? A WADA administration that must deal with France as the current 'president State' of the EU for the next six months?

WADAwatch raises a sincere concern: that if the Tour de France were to 'find' some five to seven 'doping incidents', whose shotgun–wedding–styled justice, within 24 hours of these ad–hoc doping control results, it could 'net' some five hundred to seven hundred thousand Euros for the FFC and the renegade AFLD, amply making up for that agency's loss of per–test financing from the UCI.

What's going on at WADA?

Is it losing its grip on one of the key sporting federations of its Signatory State members? Isn't WADA the 'force for good' (ahem...?) in great part because of the 'machinations' of this devious cycling world, of which only 'France' (mon Dieu!) was aware of the depths of depravity to which cycling sank?

Whatever France IS doing,
it surely will not be awarded with a
'Member State of the YEAR' prize,
either by the UCI or WADA.

If the ASO company is striving towards the 'Microsofting' of the cycling event promotion business (NB: the term in quotes is not meant in complimentary fashion; the single compliment from this author to the French Government is our shared professed affinity for the Open Office open–source computer software system), and if ASO has full government support by a French president whose office was won with, and has amply returned special favours, to a strong pack of powerful media men who are his closest friends, its seems likely to suggest that there could be similar shenanigans as have been duely noted since France went to war against Lance Armstrong several years ago.

How France, ASO, and the Tour de France combined to bite the American champion's hand, whose majestic reign had fed this ensemble through his transforming series of human performances, is of permanent record. Lance's retirement left these French structures reeling, and their ingratitude for his profit–promoting performances was a staunch reminder to the world of the capacity of the French, as no other country can, to whine, whinge and offer sour grapes and illegitimate insinuations as to the source of his victories.

Remember: it was on the routes of the Tour de France, that the French, instigated by the insinuendos from l'Equipe for many years, were wildly supportive of Richard Virenque, a Frenchman who had confessed to extensive EPO use after nearly two years of denials, while howling 'Dopé' at Armstrong throughout his last three or so races.

NB: Microsoft, an acknowledged monopolist through sheer market capture, has a history of acquiring upcoming technological advancements that threatened its total control of the PC software markets (Netscape case, Real Player case, etc). Amaury, who by itself or through separate partners' acquisitions, is capturing a majority of the major racing events (Vuelta, Tours of Germany and California, and others); see here about the two–league theory being under current public debate.

Would the UCI announce, prior to the Tour, what legal effect results recur to any rider's career, if a mad French scientist announces multiple 'A Sample' violations by foreign riders (whether we'll see our first French rider tested positive in many years remains to be determined)?

Tested once;

Betrayed by premature announcements published
within a newspaper owned by the Race Organizers;

'French justice'?

Now, more than ever, the silence of WADA to its mandated 'standardizations' is echoing through the cold and worrisome nightmares of 189 riders, their associates, team directors and sponsors. To what fate are they condemning themselves, to what end? We don't have access to any newer version than the 2006 French doping Regulations, which still bizarrely refer to the old CPLD, now replaced by the AFLD “many moons ago”.

But let us turn to the 'French Rules', and offer a couple of questions.

Title II, of the French Rules concerns Road Racing. Its section 2.6.013 denotes how stage races may issue leaders' jerseys, which selections shall be derived from sporting criteria only. So far, so good. And it stipulates that FOUR jerseys can be awarded 'for the races of the UCI ProTour and for mens' Elite and the under–23s in the classes HC and 1'.

So let's stop right there: French Rules, which (for this Title) were updated and republished as effective January 2008, designate that races held under this rule can award four Jerseys 'for ProTour' races. But the Tour de France is NOT a ProTour race, thanks to the renegade spirit of the AFLD, ASO and FFC. WADAwatch leaves it to the reader to find their own way out of this legal Byzantine labyrinth.

Try another sample law, from the 2006 Title XIV rules on doping violations under FFC.

Article 38 stipulates that the convocation of a rider must occur by registered letter at least fifteen days prior to the hearing, with a signed return receipt, or better: by human courrier, with signed witnessed delivery.

How is the FFC, then, permitted to announce that it can hold a hearing within 24 hours of an A Sample resulting in an AAF, which appears to be in violation of Article 38 of its own Title XIV rules?

The assurances offered, by ASO, by the FFC, by the AFLD, as trumpeted through their publicists at the l'Equipe, are falling on incredulous WADAwatch ears...

One aspect remains very clear: with the money saved on doping control testing and laboratory analyses, the Tour de France organizers will be better able to absorb the huge rising costs associated with the price of fuel for their immense Tour fleet of media, publicity, commissaire and VIP vehicles.

PREDICTION: if you thought the TdF was out of control last year, you may not want to watch it at all this year; it may be as exciting as reading false stories in sham papers about predicted and precarious legal events under renegade and ad–hoc rules:

for a lawn–croquet tournament

We'd enjoy watching this Tour de France, however, in the company of Floyd Landis, or Alberto Contador: true human beings, caught in a whirlpool between an unravelling cycling world, and an unharmonious anti–doping world, both beyond rational control.


The opinions expressed by WADAwatch are
strictly formed with the purpose of inciting WADA to adhere

to its Fundamental Rationale, achieve its goals and fulfil
the aspirations of its Signatories, in achieving the
highest possible level of objective, neutral
science in sport-doping control.

watching the Tour de France?

We must


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