Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Why does France still enjoy WADA's support?

Only last February, WADAwatch was present at the Third WADA Press Symposium, back in the 'good old Days', when WADA, France and the UCI were crowing about the investments in time and resources, to establish the 'Biological Passport' for cyclists, in yet another effort to prove to the world that the sport of Cycling could emerge victoriously from its image:

an image that was born, bred
and developed to its fullest, in France.

You can read about our opinion(s) of the new-found rebelliousness of
France, in light of its role in WADA, from these recent WADAwatch or crystelZENmud articles:

11 March 2008: Meeting Damien... Sympathy for the 'Devil-child'

14 February 2008: Open Letter to la famille Amaury...

22 October 2007: Les Surprises d'Octobre

or WADAwatch

30 May 2008: Riders! On the Tour...


11 March 2008: Paris NOT nice: part one

29 February 2008: WADA LEAP YEAR 2008

asked, in that public Symposium, why France was not
facing, or had not faced, any sanctions for its multiple violations, by multiple violators of the WADA Code?

As the question centered on the Floyd Landis case (in Ww's opinion, France ran an illegitimate 'second' process that violates WADA CODE Article 15.4 on 'Mutual Recognition' (under 2003 Code/p.45; the 2009 version can be found here/p.94), the response from Director-General David Bowman focused on a litigation that had been undertaken "under prior French law".

Nevertheless, and for WADever reason beyond our imagination, France has now, in the space of three years, committed nearly every violation of WADA's CODE, if not its spirit of fair-play, with this most recent announcement from an article at ESPN's website:

ASO is staging the July 5-27 race under the authority of the French national cycling federation -- ignoring the rules and doping controls of the sport's governing body UCI.

There's another change at this year's Tour. France's Chamber of Arbitration for Sport -- which falls under the French national Olympic committee -- will rule on alleged doping cases, Boyer said.

He said the French arbitration body would rule within 24 hours in suspected doping cases -- and would not wait for a second, or "B", sample to confirm a positive test.

If this is NOT a violation of the WADA CODE,
there is no 'CODE'.

If this IS a violation of the WADA CODE,
there should be an announcement soon.

When a State takes internationally agreed rules on conduct, and turns them upside down, where do other Signatories grasp for remnants of the system under attack?

Remember Mr George W Bush in 2002 or 2003, the Geneva Conventions or UN Charter, and Iraq? This sad analogy is very close to perfect (with differing degrees as to outcomes, of course): if France chooses to walk away from the WADA system, at least WADA could acknowledge that this is happening, and face the consequences.

However, the accuracy of certain statements from that ESPN article must be verified: the Féderation française de cyclisme, or FFC, cannot 'ignore the rules and doping controls', per se, of the UCI. This link goes to the latest publicly-published set of FFC rules.

Note (all, of course, in French) that section 2.0.001 of the Road racing rules section, defines who holds a 'License': any remunerated rider for 'a structure' that is recognized by the UCI. This seems to negate the means under which France litigated or prosecuted Landis as a non-licensed rider.

Note also, in the ESPN article above, that the 'ruling' would occur within 24 hours of the 'announcement' of the cyclists' A Sample results (the B Sample, a universally-acknowledged 'fail-safe' redundancy check to confirm the A results, is no longer necessary in France).

One could wonder whether the FFC debated, and refrained, from announcing 'l'Equipe' to be the official legal journal for results management (satirical thought: the new rules Section clearly defines the French Federation's publication: La France Cycliste (subscriptions only), as official journal for publishing these).

There is a new Section to the FFC regulations, concerning Anti-doping. Section, Section XIV: "REGLEMENT RELATIF A LA LUTTE CONTRE LE DOPAGE DE LA FFC" (NB: for Francophobes: 'lutte' is 'fight' in FR; the rest may seem clear enough).

WADAwatch will return with deeper analysis of these items in the coming, pre-Tour weeks, as we await the CAS decision regarding the systemically-abused Floyd Landis.

As the world waits also, especially the Sporting World, with Euro-foot on this month, the Tour de France next month (and Wimbledon, which created the retirement of Martina Hingis) and then the Olympics of Beijing, is it back to the drawing boards,
maybe, for Richard Young, John Fahey and David Howman?

Because if WADA doesn't learn how to stand its ground, and prosecute the guilt-ridden layers of French agencies and Federations that have violated its rules wantonly, abusively, continuously, then this year the Tour de France of company ASO will obviously take advantage of its 'carte blanche' to prosecute a great number of 'suspected' riders, on evidence of its own choosing, without recourse to B Samples, and no doubt, through the voice of cycling, the dishonoured L'Equipe sports rag journal.

NB: WADAwatch no longer offers links to L'Equipe.

Sportsmen, Sportswomen, you should be afraid, very afraid: because this system, designed to convince your peers to stop using substances or procedures that disturb clean competitions and competitors, is fragmenting, slowly, due to the machinations of one company, in one country: with full government support.

Case closed?


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 WADA, and France,


2008 all copyrights reserved


Rubber Side Down said...

you are absolutely right on target. With the dismantling of the WADA A and B sample system, the TdFarce, LNDD and ASO will throw the sport of cycling into a more confusing state of affairs. Will the UCI recognize any of the tainted A results for a AAF without a B confirmation? I doubt it. Will WADA ask Country sports federations to sanction these same riders? I would hope not. So where does this leave the sport after a disastrous TdF?


ZENmud productions said...


Thanks for your thoughts; mine are:

1 ALL spectators to the TdF should be wearing ASTANA jerseys;

2 ANY spectators from the USA, ought to buy some paint and write 'FREE FLOYD LANDIS' or 'ASTANA, OÙ ÊTES-VOUS allés?' ('Where have you gone, ASTANA) or something similar.

The Tour this year, is second class, in EVERY ASPECT: organizers, rules, teams, course (Giro admittedly tougher by independent analysis). Treat it as such... wait for the Olympics.

ps: ASO did me a favour, by not passing within cycling distance of Geneva... I can enjoy my new ORBEA BIKE instead of watching it...


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