Friday, 29 February 2008


Fahey's first Tour, and Beijing

Is the best thing that's happening to WADA this year, the worst that possibly could happen to it? WADAwatch is not, repeat NOT, referring to WADA's newer, gentler president, nor anyone else.

This question is not meant to be confusing, nor will it remain so; WADA is banking on a newly formulated tool to combat the flux of doping:

the Athlete's Passport

By no means a 'government-authorized travel document', the “AP” was introduced to the sporting press at WADA's Press Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday the 27th February. In an all–day session hosted by WADA's president John Fahey, director general David Howman, and medical director, Dr Alain Garnier, participants were immersed in: the transition from Pound to Fahey, the role of Europe (which has pride enough in its sustenance of WADA, contributing 47.5 per cent of the operating budget) in WADA's governance, and the technical aspects (WADA PASSPORT for dummies?) of this Brave NEW Tool in the WADA toolbox.

Introduced as a 'pilot project', the Athletic Passport creates a longitudinal, auto-generated 'blue print' or record of each separate participant, being the 700 to 900 cyclists atop the UCI rankings. This concept 'in the pipeline' was elaborated, after the ashes cooled following the 'crisis' at last year's Tour de France, by the French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sport, ASO, the UCI and other interested Signatories of WADA. A meeting hosted by the French Ministry in October, 2007, attracted those participants, some of (whom WADAwatch is sure) were in no mood to accommodate their collaborators across the table.

There's only one small drawback: two of the participating organizations, vital to the success of this Longitudinal pursuit, should be straightjacketed and removed from civilization.

The UCI, which regulates the cycling world, and ASO, which is the French, privately-held company owning the Tour de France, amongst many other sporting events in the cycling world, etc., are doing their level best to out-piss the other in a war AGAINST CYCLING AS A SPORT, not at all indicative of success in cycling's the search for CREDIBILITY, new sponsorships, new talent, new glories...

Slides herein are from WADAwatch photos, however WADA did mention that their power Point presentations would be online shortly... visit this link, for the full set of presentations.

Sidebar: the 2009 WADA CODE is now online, it goes into effect in ten months:
1 January 2009.

(NB: it's not yet on the CODE page from the drop-down menu, follow links from the home page text to find it)

Thus IF the Honourable John Fahey can pass from Leap DAY (today!) to New Year, without the Tour de France and UCI throwing a stick in the spokes of this new and hopefully more effective monitoring system (which could go across to other sports if overwhelmingly validated), it remains to be seen if their Athlete's Passport will provide the right parameters.

The Athlete's Passport is not
a travel document!

(remember to can click on these photos, it opens
into a separate screen in 'full sized' mode)

Given all the interest that 'doping' has generated, and maybe in spite of the dearth of scientifically accurate, and truly well–written articles, the press that attended were quick to tie certain angles together.

WADAwatch had published, the preceding Friday, an article titled 'Five Easy Questions for John Fahey', and this article seeks to provide the appropriate responses, either directly from our questions, directly from the multiple presentations, or by gleaning appropriate comments from the responses directed to the journalists in the audience. The five questions (summarized) covered:

  1. WADA laboratory standardization vis–à–vis anecdotal press information to the contrary (occasionally, or specifically to certain labs);

  2. Further or future amendment possibilities to the WADA CODE, subsequent to this last World Conference in Madrid;

  3. The likelihood that Article 10.6 requires 'judicial interpretation' to see what it actually means, as an extra 'legal burden' to the first litigated Athletes whose legal defense must 'carry the water' for WADA's repeated opportunity, and now lost chance, to actually offer a 'legal definition' of what is 'Aggravating Circumstances';

  4. Why France is not in violation of WADA CODE Article 15.4, on Mutual Recognition, for its secondary litigation against Floyd Landis, during and after the USADA process was initiated and decided (although still pending appeal);

  5. The need, somewhere between WADA, its Signatories, and the International Olympic Committee, to draft a clear set of rules for Athletes, outlining their risks as members of teams, in the case where (Marion Jones) one participant may be found to be doped, yet the others are under no legal suspicion or suspension for that pertinent participation.

WADAwatch requests your indulgence; if errors are found we will certainly provide an updated article noting any corrections.

Laboratory standardization

Unfortunately, this issue was not directly discussed.

However, the 'undercurrent' provided by discussions of the panoply of measures being taken in combatting doping, appear to WADAwatch to be somewhat an admission that the science of medicine favors the cheating side.

The adage of our times is 'Law follows science' is never clearer than in this field, as it is easier to 'guinea pig' the Athletes who are seeking advantage, and harder for the scientists that must, of course, take time to cautiously determine proper testing methodologies, standardize the tests and publish, and then begin busting the guilty parties.

Marion Jones' history of successful evasion, throughout her career, of some 180–plus tests, is as good an example (or as sad...) of the need to augment capacities to measure biomarkers (blood or urine components), and has led to the abovementioned Athlete's Passport.

Further CODE revisions

WADAwatch asked David Howman, WADA's Director General, about the capacity of this organization to re-open CODE drafting, if and when it felt necessary, whether through feedback or 'judicial interpretation'; would it take another four years, until another presumed 'World Conference' had been called?

NB: The First World Conference on Doping in Sport was in 1999, in Lausanne, Switzerland (home of the IOC); the Second Conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Third Conference was last November in Madrid, Spain.

Howman smiled and replied to the effect that, 'it appeared to be a trend, didn't it?', but that there really wasn't a formal requirement for a WCDS every four years. He continued by stressing that he wanted the CODE, as now modified and accepted, to be implemented to see where it had weaknesses, or success.

10.6 Aggravated Circumstances

In a separate follow-up to some other press questions, WADAwatch asked Howman again, if the lack of the redrafted CODE, with this entirely new article, didn't prejudice against any Athlete whose first litigation would help WADA achieve the definition they've chosen (in three redrafts) not to include, because: a- it poses an unfair financial burden on that first litigant to argue to CAS (Since it would be impossible to use a National ADO Decision as precedent-setting) what WADA's Article 10.6 DOES mean legally, and b- that CAS opinion could fall AGAINST WADA; did they relish incurring that risk?

Howman, who's far higher in his legal career (far more diplomas, than 'we WADAwatchers', definitely) emphasized, and rightly so, that WADA wasn't necessarily 'out to win' EVERY litigation; he stated that 'seeing justice prevail' was more important than whether WADA won or not.

WADAwatch takes heart in hearing those words, but of course it's a phrase that must be put to the test: ample cases in the past seemed to tend towards 'grasping at judicial straws', by seeking appeals from Federation decisions where, for one example, a national Federation was not a Signatory of WADA.

Future coverage of WADA's litigation excursions will remain a strong facet of WADAwatch.

15.4 Mutual Recognition

It's not embarrassing to admit a bit of nervousness, when asking these highly professional WADA officials about what appears to be, and which WADAwatch has described as, an 'outlaw decision' from the French AFLD, the Agence française pour le lutte contre le dopage.

In a rare gesture of discretion, WADAwatch won't reveal who muttered a clearly audible 'Oh, Jesus!' into his microphone.

David Howman did respond, afterwards, to our question concerning Floyd Landis' hearings and decisions in the USA. That judicial procedure was undertaken under the proper guise of WADA, UCI and the applicable US regulations from USA Cycling and USADA, with evidence from the French laboratory formally named the LNDD.

David's response was brief and (IWwHO) deflecting this inquiry off the scene, indicating that it was 'done under their previous law', and thus 'not in conflict with the US process'.

WADAwatch has sought from WADA, earlier today, a precision to that response.

It shouldn't be allowed, under Article 15.4, that a cyclist who's been suspended in the USA, faces another Signatory's disciplinary process, period 'point finale'. See 'BAFFLED by AFLD: an afterword' or 'Paths of GLORI (-ous French Failure)'

France could run twenty different Floyd Landis proceedings, under any law it chose, during or after USADA had its winning case decided (while the dissent from Chris Campbell distinguished itself in the Sports Law legal Hall of Fame by branding, in his very first sentence, the French lab (and thus its evidence) as being 'untrustworthy'): not one instance can be claimed that this would be (in our opinion) anything BUT an 'outlaw' process.

Stay tuned...

Retrospective Rulemaking for
Team mates of 'convicted dopers'

WADAwatchers, sometimes there's not enough day in a day, to get answers to every question. Some, like discussing what to do with the team mates of Marion Jones, now that she's confessed. We're the first to admit that this question may be better off being addressed to the International Olympic Committee.

One aspect pertinent, and for which most people would be grateful to learn, is that WADA reminded our audience that it has always had, since publishing the first CODE in 2003, a definition of Teams to be:

“a sport in which the substitution of players is permitted during a Competition.

Thus relay teams, cycling teams, crew teams, freestyle water ballet teams, are NOT TEAMS. (We're not sure if we know or if WADA knows precisely what those multi-person, event-participants are going to be defined, but it could be another case of 'judicial interpretation'...

+ + + + + + + + +

This week is drawing to a close, and there is much more to come from this interesting Symposium. Come back Tuesday and see what more came from Lausanne...

Where will WADA be, On LEAP DAY 2012?


© 2008 ZENmud productions

Thursday, 28 February 2008

WADA show, WADA performance...

WADAwatch wants to graciously thank the crew from WADA that put together a very informative session for the Press, in Lausanne, on the 27th of February.

The range of discussions was across most of the vital issues it is confronting, in the year of a new presidency, a strong reaction to the Tour de France 2007, the Beijing Olympic Summer Games. Readers will surely be scanning the news that came from this meeting, in which WADA president John Fahey, elected last November in Madrid, was presenting his viewpoints after the two months of introductions and travelling, from his home in Australia, to meet with WADA staff, the International Olympic Committee, major Signatories and others.

(WADAwatch photo:
Director General Howman, President John Fahey)

A sneak preview was offered of the Athletic Passport software system, developed in Lausanne by the Swiss Lab LAP. More to come on this pilot project, developed for a partnership between ASO, owners of the Tour de France (and l'Equipe), the UCI cycling Federation, and the French Ministère de la Santé, Sport et de la Jeunesse.

(WADAwatch photo:
new AP: Athletic Passport software)

Scanning the news today, the strongest story yet to emerge is a reaction to comments made concerning the 'Humanplasma' case in Austria, which can be found here. The president of Humanplasma appears to be outraged by several comments by WADA Director-General David Howman (grammar corrected by WADAwatch):

The head of a Viennese blood bank on Wednesday slammed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for naming it as the company at the centre of an anti-doping probe. WADA general director David Howman referred to the Humanplasma blood bank by name when he revealed at a symposium in Lausanne earlier in the day that his organization had submitted more information to the Austrian authorities investigating claims that a Viennese laboratory was involved in the doping of athletes.

Elsewhere, the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the announcement by WADA of its test for HGH... the International Herald Tribune reports more in-depth...

And much more to come on this symposium, including John's reaction to our first WADAwatch press conference question, will be published in an in-depth reaction tomorrow.

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.

Thanking WADA

copyright 2008

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Half an Epoch Ago: the 2001 Tour de France remembered

Before there was crystelZENmud, or WADAwatch, this author edited and translated an article from the French - language cycling magazine: VéLO Magazine, which was posted on what is now the Yahoo! group called 'EUROBIKE'... posted in that sad month of September, 2001. Readers of WADAwatch are encouraged to follow this link to the article posted moments ago at crystelZENmud:

2001: a RACE ODYSSEY (Looking back to Lance's victory)

The importance of the information in this article, in the world of sport anti-doping, serves to remember that not every journalist-author took the easy road of claiming that all cyclists are or were doping.

Monsieur Fréd. Grappe took the time to write an article of several pages, in one of France's foremost cycling magazines... although that magazine would join the anti-Lance bandwagon some years after.

Enter a Time Tunnel, to an era half-an-epoch ago.

Tomorrow, Lausanne, and the Media
Symposium with John Fahey, newly and fairly elected WADA president, and the former Minister of Finance in Australia.

In all seriousness, WADAwatch has prepared the questions that you have maybe seen from last Friday.

News about our day together, should be on your screens by Thursday (unless Ww gets kidnapped, "Syriana-style")

(humour is mandatory these days...)

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


Friday, 22 February 2008

Five Easy Questions for John Fahey

WADAwatch has certainly made clear its strong endorsement of the former Australian Minister John Fahey, who was openly elected to serve as the second president of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Given that the choice had nearly been between himself, and the petulant, acrimonious Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Lamour (who'd actually withdrawn his candidature nearly simultaneously with the proposal of Fahey as an alternative), the outcome was only mired by the European media's stimulation of reactions that 'Europe was robbed!' of some unknown 'right' to succeed to the WADA Presidency.

(WADAwatch photo, showing from l. to r.:
WADA Director General David Howman,
John Fahey, Dick Pound, and newly-elected V.P. Arne Ljungqvist)

Granted, WADA's existence was born in Europe, as an offspring of the International Olympic Committee (see Chapter ONE: Who Begat WADA?), and certainly European dedication appears to be exemplary, as it is the source of 47.5 per cent of WADA's working budget.

Next Wednesday, the 27th February, is the much-awaited Media Symposium with Mr. Fahey.

This post, is an attempt to bridge the gap between typical press questions, and those that 'should' be answered (IWwHO).


Donald Rumsfeld continued a string of insanely-funny quotations, in 2004, with the following gem:

"As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Question ONE:

Mr Fahey, ample evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, indicates that there is more reliance in the press as to assertions from WADA, on the issues relating to 'lab performance', than may reasonably be justified.

Eg: Chris Campbell's dissent in the Floyd Landis case, former UCLA lab director Donald Catlin's mentioning of 'false positives', or:

It certainly is a commanding task, to ensure that those 'WADA-accredited laboratories' have the highly sophisticated staff and training to merit inclusion in the family of WADA labs: yet are you assured that all that can be achieved, has been achieved?

Or are you content to battle on with 'the army you have'?

Question TWO:

With great fanfare, the World Conference on Doping in Sport (WCDS-Madrid) presided over the final drafting sessions for the newly-revamped WADA CODE. Several new components of the CODE have taken drastic steps to tighten the 'noose' around suspected Athletes. Whether such steps are or were necessary, their implementation does not appear to carry commensurate balancing safeguards against injustice.

If you come to a similar conclusion, through your own analysis or from future litigious events that provoke such analysis, would you initiate further redrafting, or is there no opportunity to reopen 'CODE revisions' until the next WCDS, presumably in 2011?

Question THREE:

As a follow-up to question TWO, one entirely new Article, 10.6 in the CODE relates to 'Aggravating Circumstances'.

WADA published a Legal Opinion, on its own website, in which the esteemed attorney-authors anticipated that "...judicial interpretation" would provide the necessary amplification to the words contained in the CODE. In a post from early January: "WADA: Aggravating Arrogances", this questioner asked WADA openly why it would make Athletes pay the judicial price of carrying the burden for WADA's inability to draft a fair and proper definition to the possibility posed, of doubling the standard 'two year' suspension to four years.

Mr Fahey, you now preside over an organization whose legal documents are primarily in English, and also officially in French, although the English edition prevails according to CODE Article 24.1 (identical in CODE 2003 and 2007).

There exists in the CODE, a definition of ADAMS, the WADA "Anti-Doping Administration and Management System". There is no definition in the CODE for "Aggravating Circumstances".

As a global organization holding the power to destroy an Athlete's career, whether such is merited or not, do you not feel that WADA should insert a definition of Aggravating Circumstances so that the Athlete is not unaware (in American law: 'on notice') of the potential stiffening of their potential penalty?

Question FOUR:

A cyclist recently, and famously, was suspended for two years, in the USA, from his allegedly testing positive for exogenous use of testosterone. That legal process is ongoing, and was prosecuted in the USA, under the auspices of USA Cycling, as the license-issuing Federation, and USADA, as the United States anti-doping authority for such cases.

That cyclist is currently (Feb. 2008) awaiting appeal through CAS, as is stipulated in the WADA CODE, the UCI rules and the USA Cycling rules.

In the WADA CODE, Article 15.4 demands that:

"Subject to the right of appeal ... hearing results or other final adjudications ... which are consistent with the Code and are within that Signatory's authority ... shall be recognized and respected by all other Signatories."

However, that cyclist was 'tried' in a second State, (See "Paths of Glori (-ous French Failure)" who was not the proper license-issuing authority, during the process that continues as this article appears (again, Feb. 2008).

What is the official response from WADA to such a 'double jeopardy' situation?

Follow up: Is WADA intending to seek an appeal from CAS that would render null and void this 'outlaw' legal hearing? And when will WADA re-draft the CODE to outline corrective notifications to such Signatories that are not respecting the CODE?

Question FIVE:

In the eight years since WADA's birth, it has grown into an organization of significant weight and stature. It has attempted to address many topics, and its heart and soul are at stake in the turning to your presidential reign.

One aspect that is not entirely its own fault, but certainly falls under its remit, is the aspect of 'retrospective punishment' to Athletes, who may be under no cloud of suspicion.

WADA has not, within our understanding, addressed the issue of retroactive loss of honours, medals or records, held by Athletes who may have innocently contributed to an achievement that is later revealed to have been at the hands (or feet?) of one individual who did cheat through doping.

WADAwatch points to the case involving the relay team mates of Marion Jones, in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The remaining three Athletes, are now living their own personal hell, turbulently upset by the ad-hoc request from the IOC, through the USOC, to 'request return of the medals'.

Since there appears to be no easily-researchable rules that govern the situation described, is WADA going to call on the IOC to react, rapidly and conjointly, to this retrospective void in international Athletic doping controls and consequences?

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WADAwatch would hope that the Press that attend the Symposium next week (bienvenue à la Suisse!), are asking similarly positively-focused questions on the major issues of our day.

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.

Questioning WADA,


© 2008 ZENmud productions

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

WADAwatch Press Award for February

It's not easy typing green... (apologies to Kermit the Frogstar)

Last month was the initial occasion to bestow the WADAwatch award, the...

(aka "Unimpressed by the Press")

This nearly prestigious honour was awarded for the first time, to the working journalist whose words did the most to obfuscate any decent sport-loving reader's search for the truth.

That inaugural winner was a journalist, James Christie, who (we hope) is still writing for the Globe and Mail of Canada, who overworked his article on Dick Pound, who has greater ambitions than talents for taking on the Presidency of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Now, for the Month of February, comes an equally slipped-up diatribe in favour of Greg Lemond, a former three-time victor of the Tour de France, in the Eighties (and 1990); he has no problem insinuating that he was the very last of the clean champions (choke! gasp!), whose career only ended because of 'all the dopers' whose performances took his breath away...


For February's winner, Anne Killion, the columnist at the Mercury News newspaper site, who wrote the article:

WADAwatch begs the reader's indulgence, if they are not familiar with the Floyd Landis testosterone case that arose in the Tour de France 2006. Ms Killion's gems include the following:

  • "... he had been the victim of a blackmail attempt by Landis' lawyer, Will Geoghegan."

NB: Simple fact–checking reveals the truth behind this egregious error, comprehensible to even bloggers and other fans of cycling: Geoghegan was Landis' Business Manager, and a long–time friend, whose idiocies, while unpardonable, are not the fruit of his big LA sport lawyers. (WADAwatch admits having no idea how to pronounce that name: 'jeff-again'?)

Steeeee-rike ONE!

  • "... The incident revealed to the world the unethical underbelly of the sport and the sad tactics some will use against the truth."

NB: The reader cannot discern which 'incident' opened the “unethical underbelly” that makes author Killion salivate: is she discussing the Landis hearing itself? Or would she be directly referring to the Geoghegan/Lemond phone-call? Some astute readers tend to think that the USADA case against Landis, which was described approximately by lawyer Richard Young as being 'about hard science', showed how far it was from that by reliance on virtual hearsay testimony from former racer Lemond.

How could she impute this peripheral incident, as a comment denigrating an entire sport?

Steeeee-rike TWO!!

  • "... LeMond has testified that Armstrong threatened him and tried to destroy his livelihood, through his powerful influence within the cycling world."

NB: If the reader is tempted to believe that Lemond's 'livelihood' is to travel around the world testifying about hearsay, and what he wants to convince the world that he 'knows' about its current rampant problems with doping, then it would be easy to be duped into believing that Armstrong even thinks about Greg Lemond...

Steeeee-rike THREE!!!

Anne Killion! You're OUTTA the BALLPARK!

There are greener pastures ahead for you, Ms Killion, as surely as it appears that you enjoy writing what the editor requested: a slash-n-burn saga, a hash of insinnuendo, in the grand tradition of the French journal l'Equipe, in order to destroy a sport that is seeking to excel in all facets of the anti-doping quest.

Ms Killion's auto-reply to the WADAwatch email requesting her correction as to the Geoghegan/lawyer comment, indicated she couldn't reply but assured that she read "every email"... is it worth it to send this to her?

Who's to be the next WADAwatch TSJ award winning journalist?

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 the Press it feeds,


© 2008 ZENmud productions

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

WADA weekend in Paris... Calendar UPDATES

A reminder to all WADAwatch readers, that WADA will be conducting a meeting later this month, with its family of accredited laboratory directors, in Paris. The link to the Calendar item regarding this meeting is rather non-specific. WADAwatch notes that an agenda, or the actual location in Paris (at the AFLD département des analyses, perhaps?) is unmentioned for public edification.

The meeting is announced for the Friday and Saturday, while on the Monday following, there will also be a meeting of the WADA Laboratories Committee. That is only a week from tomorrow; two weeks from yesterday, is the long-anticipated WADA Media Symposium in Lausanne.

If any constructive work comes out of the Lab Director's meeting, and that is addressed in the Monday Committee session, WADAwatch would hope to have this information made available for the Wednesday Symposium, and we will pass that to you, valuable readers, as soon thereafter as is possible.

Bon weekend, chers récherchers d'AMA!
(Have a nice weekend, dear scientists of WADA!)

One hopes that, in the course of two long days, the Lab Directors may be informed as to the legality of secondary prosecutions, and to endorse the drafting of new language that would aid the English version of the CODE and IST to define 'Testing' or 'Doping Control' as per CODE Article 15.4...

Watching WADA


© 2008 ZENmud productions

WADAwatch In Error (Testing v Doping Control)

On the subject of Floyd Landis' case being adjudicated in France, through a procedure that at best can be described as 'outlaw' (if France purports to be a Signatory in support of WADA), WADAwatch needs to acknowledge a small analytical error.

This error does not affect the totality of the post Paths of Glori (-ous French Failure) concerning the AFLD and its unseemly reliance on inapplicable French law.

The error(s) originate from questions posed by WADAwatch, concerning the use of the word 'Testing' in WADA CODE 15.4, and the inherent difference of the use of that word, within WADAworld, as compared to the rest of the world. Our written article carried a tone that implied that WADA didn't even understand its own International Standard for Testing.

WADAwatch apologizes for this misconstrued analytical viewpoint.

In fact, the International Standard for Testing does regulate all aspects of Sample procurement: identification of Testing 'victims', collection, protection and transport of Samples. Usage of 'Testing' in the pertinent WADA CODE document appears to be, most often, properly limited to these aspects.

The term 'Doping Control' embodies the entire sequence that a lay person may describe as 'Testing', including 'laboratory analysis'.

Given that clarification, there remains the perplexing use of the term 'Testing' in Article 15.4 of the CODE. It seems without question that the intent of Article 15.4 (“Mutual Recognition”) is designed to eliminate precisely the procedures that Mr Landis faced in the second AFLD prosecution. As noted by WADAwatch, Article 15.4 would serve its constituencies better, if the words 'Doping Control' replaced the word 'Testing'.

The anti–doping world may also benefit greatly, if WADA chose to define 'Laboratory analysis', in either the CODE or the ISL.

In the ISL, definitions specific to itself include 'Laboratory Internal Chain of Custody', Laboratory Documentation Packages, and this definition of Laboratory:

“An accredited laboratory applying test methods and processes to provide evidentiary data for the detection and, if applicable, quantification of a Threshold Substance on the Prohibited List in urine and other biological Samples.”

Should one raise the red flag again? There's that pesky word 'test'! Which admittedly is not 'Testing', (although this subject is beginning to test our patience...). A tangled web to unweave, is not aided when further research pulls up the definition of 'Testing Authority' (which is “... responsible for Sample testing... and/or management of the test result.

Can WADA project coherence, and display confidence to an awakening world that is witness to the focus at WADA on 'busting Athletes', while its inconsistent CODE–work causes that world to focus on WADA, in and of itself?

Remember the words of the Court of Arbitration for Sport:

"Athletes and officials should not be confronted with a thicket of mutually qualifying or even contradictory rules that can be understood only on the basis of the de facto practice over the course of many years by a small group of insiders."
(CAS: in the decision USA Shooting & Quigley v. UIT, 1995 (CAS 94/129))

Hopefully the world will not have to wait four years, for WADA to address these errors in drafting. When is a Test a TEST, and when is a Test a Doping Control?

WADAwatch shares its errors when noted; bigger players in the global fight against doping in sport are invited to do so, as well.

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


© 2008 ZENmud productions

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Redrafting the Athlete's Bill of Rights...

An updated version of the Athlete's Bill of Rights, which is a WADAwatch world exclusive project, has been put online here: ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS: v3

It reflects previous comments and some generally-needed editorial attention, as well as rendering certain obligations more precisely into text.

WADAwatch is encouraged by the dialogue engendered by this publicized campaign to reform and renovate the modus operandi at WADA.

Remember your suggestions are most valued, and thank you for contacting WADAwatch via the email provided at the right-hand column.

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.


© 2008 ZENmud productions


This is the third draft (v3) of the

original WADAwatch post:


[With accumulated comments, or redraftings,
incorporated and shown in this color:
acknowledgements follow the Notes]

In the profitable world of sponsored professional and amateur sport, it is, ultimately, the Athletes who have invested thousands of hours of training to achieve internationally–recognized levels of competence. At any high level of national or international competition, these highly–trained individuals or team members are and should be subject to testing for evidence of doping.

However, the scientific procedures undertaken to discern these doping substance or procedures by Athletes are performed, or directed by individuals, under 'standards' that imply, perhaps, more than they should. The laboratory technicians, the Lab directors, and the institutions that employ them, may not have achieved a similar level of certifiable performance proficiency.

There exists, within WADA's anti–doping control system, insufficient evidence (budgetary or anecdotal evidence of 'test shifting') of its undertaken efforts to achieve, maintain and publish, in transparent fashion, the necessary levels of scientific competence and testing reliability. In legal terms, one may add “ the degree reasonably necessary according to accepted principles of substance–testing laboratory performance.”

WADAwatch hopes that WADA itself is as concerned about these aspects as one could reasonably anticipate from the Fundamental Rationale found in the WADA CODE, which contains aspiring values such as: “Ethics, fair play and honesty”, “Excellence in performance” and, “Respect for rules and laws”.

Long before the inauguration adherence and acceptance of WADA, its CODE, and any derivative documents, the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) discussed the importance of objective, global rules:

The fight against doping is arduous and it may require strict rules. But the rule-makers and rule-appliers must begin by being strict themselves. Regulations that may affect the careers of dedicated athletes must be predictable. They must emanate from duly authorised bodies. They must be adopted in constitutionally proper ways. They should not be the product of an obscure process of accretion. Athletes and officials should not be confronted with a thicket of mutually qualifying or even contradictory rules that can be understood only on the basis of the de facto practice over the course of many years by a small group of insiders.
(CAS: in the decision USA Shooting & Quigley v. UIT, 1995 (CAS 94/129))

WADA, and the International Federations that adhere to its CODE, as well as the Governments who have acceded to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, should acknowledge the necessity of balancing the well–founded goal of reducing or eliminating doping in sport, with the possibility that overly–zealous, negligent or unscrupulous individuals or institutions could produce results that are not scientifically achieved, nor legally attributable to an Athlete (If the strict liability standard was not in existence).

If and when that occurs, they impose massive, negative and irreversible repercussions to Athletes, their teams, their sponsors or their sport. World–class Athletes, whose entourage often includes their own staff and coaches, are in constant proximity to those of their competitors, as well.

Strict liability is the standard against which Athletes are responsible for knowing what they ingest; obviously they can never let down their guard, for even a moment.

Could a sponsor, being outraged at contractual money 'paid' and seeing their contracted Athlete(s) fail to perform, 'spike' that Athlete's sports–performance drink? If unlikely, we must still admit that it's a possibility, a multi–million Euro one at that.

Perhaps even more possible, could be the same scenario, happening from the entourage of a competitor: Athletes may NEVER let down their guard, against 'systems corruption'.

In light of these legitimate concerns, WADAwatch offers this working draft-in-progress of an ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS, which forces the regulating Signatories to distinguish reality from optimism, and facts from presumptions.

WADAwatch hopes that this pro-bono document becomes part of a record, an acknowledgement by the 'powers that be', that fairness must be equalized, in light of the burdens imposed by the unilateral standard of 'strict liability' against the Athletes.

An 'ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS' offers to balance the quasi–judicial system in which the WADA CODE operates, by asserting the minimum necessary legal protections to Athletes.

is not authorized, endorsed or supported by
WADA, its Signatories, or the Court of Arbitration for
Sport (CAS) in any way ... (Yet)



Athletes under the jurisdiction of the WADA CODE agree to abide by results of legitimate anti–doping testing in WADA–accredited laboratories, in the interests of reducing and eliminating the scourge of sports–doping from the world of sport, subject to the demonstrable adherence of the testing facility to abide by the WADA CODE and lab accreditation process, and this ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS.

The word 'Athlete(s)' is used herein as defined by WADA, in the currently enforced version of the WADA CODE, and/or its subsidiary WADA regulatory documents. If necessary, it may include any Person, or other entity, who could be considered as a 'defendant' to any charge of violation of WADA regulations, that have as their source the published results of testing by a WADA–accredited laboratory.

Athletes agree to adhere to all applicable regulations within the WADA CODE and its derivative documents, such as the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), and the International Standard for Testing (IST), as published and in force, subject to the demonstrable adherence of the testing facility to abide by the WADA CODE, ISL and IST, the lab accreditation process, and this ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS.

Article ONE:

Athletes are presumed innocent of a WADA CODE violation involving doping substances or procedures discerned through WADA–accredited laboratory test results, until such time as the Athlete's right to a B Sample confirmation test is performed as requested by the Athlete, or waived.

Article TWO:

Athletes retain the right of confidentiality granted through the WADA CODE, as specified in Articles 7.1 and 7.2, and as confirmed by the ISL Laboratory Code of Ethics (ISL Annex B).

Article THREE:

Athletes have the right to legal counsel and due process, to defend themselves against all charges, and to have access to any and all evidence that holds bearing on their case. In agreeing to adjudication through arbitration as mandated by the WADA CODE and its derivative documents, Athletes shall retain the legal protections afforded to them by their sovereign government, or when under the protection of applicable international Agreements such as the European Convention on Human Rights.*

Article FOUR:

Athletes have the right to enforce provisions of the WADA CODE and its other regulatory documents that apply to any Laboratories, Anti–Doping Organizations and other Signatories whose violations of those provisions have a substantial or procedural effect on the outcome of the Athlete's case.

Article FIVE:

Athletes have the right to contest the receivability of an Appeal initiated by any WADA Signatory that had not been a party to the Athlete's initial adjudication process, as could be undertaken by Signatories under authority granted in WADA CODE Article 13.2.3, prior to the acceptance of said appeal by the Appellate Panel.

Article SIX***:

Athletes have the right to call as witnesses or expert witnesses, any current employee or Director, or any former employee or ex–Director of any WADA laboratory, whose testimony may have a material bearing on the Athlete's case(s).

Article SEVEN***:

Where any presumed and prosecuted AAF, or other rules violation having been undertaken against an Athlete is determined to have been a result of malfeasance or fraudulent acts by any Signatory (or under authority of a Signatory) of WADA, that Athlete shall have rights which include, but are not limited to the following list:

  1. Right of restitution to any forfeited: a) contract for employment; b) titles; c) prize winnings; d) sponsorship contracts;

  2. Right to enforce disciplinary action against the Signatory or Signatories that, whether acting independently or in concert, have effectively tarnished the reputation of the Athlete;

  3. Right to pursue, independently of the rights granted in Seven (1) or (2), monetary damages against any Signatory or Signatories for the loss to reputation and earnings which were engendered by the Signatory or Signatories' actions, which were shown to have malfeasance or fraud at their base.

Article EIGHT***:

Athletes have the right to force the initiation, by WADA or any of its Signatories, of an adjudicatory process against any WADA Signatory, or Signatories (or under the authority of a Signatory) whose actions are proven determined to have violated the rights of the Athlete(s) as detailed in Article SEVEN, or within all of the WADA CODE, or other WADA regulatory documents.

Article NINE:

Athletes have the right to request a declaratory Decision from CAS in any case whereby a Signatory or Signatories initiate any 'adjudicatory process' that creates a conflicting or extraordinary duplication of process based on effective violation(s) of Article 15.4 of the WADA CODE.

Article TEN***:

Athletes have the right to incorporate within any appropriate appellate process, including appeals to CAS, any extraordinary decisions reached by any Signatory or Signatories subsequent to an 'adjudicatory process' as described in Article NINE.


to this


[NB: Use of the term 'Athlete' includes any plural, or gender–specific usage of the word, it may also include, when necessary, 'or Person' as defined by WADA in its CODE or derivative International Standards, etc.; WADAwatch also presumes the reader is well–versed in the abbreviations and definitions which WADA uses throughout its documents and regulations]


It establishes coherence for the use of the term 'Athlete(s)' with the WADA CODE, and encourages the presumption that a greater majority of Athletes are acknowledging the desire to retain respect and responsibility, for themselves, their sponsors (for event, and individual/team sponsorships) and their sport, through adherence to the WADA system of sports–doping control.

Article ONE:

This enunciates the basic principle of law that is fundamental to a vast range of national legal systems. WADAwatch notes that, in the past, many instances of breach of confidence, between laboratories holding A Sample results, their hierarchic governmental agencies, WADA and the press have caused greater (and harmful) prejudice to the implicated Athletes.

Article TWO:

By reinforcing each Athlete's right to a confidential procedure, this places a greater acknowledgement that, in our media–driven world, special efforts must apply that reduce or remove the prejudice that adheres to any premature, illegal declaration of 'A Sample' results.

Article THREE:

While not explicit in the Article, the Athlete's rights under the 2007 WADA CODE are apparently being restricted by the introduction of various changes and amendments to the CODE.

This ABoR Article THREE enunciates a preference for 'due process of law', where:

  • The B Sample may not be necessary (CODE Article 2.2);

  • WADA changed, in the 2007 CODE, its standard for 'apparent departures' in Article 7.1 and 7.2 from '... which undermines the validity...' (of an A Sample finding) to '... caused...', as must be determined by an ADO prior to the Athlete's need to invoke the 'presumption' found in Article 3.2.1;

  • Evidence of malfeasance or fraudulent acts by a laboratory would not be available within the authorized 'Laboratory documentation package' as provided in WADA CODE Article 7.2;

  • Aspects of the new Article 10.6 “Aggravating Circumstances” require an Athlete to prove the absence of such circumstances.

  • New text incorporates acknowledged legal rights which are not waived for Athletes–as–citizens.

Article FOUR:

It must be clear to WADA, that if and when malfeasance or fraudulent activity by a laboratory or Signatory has effectively tarnished an Athlete's reputation, that the Athlete have a legal recourse to address such defects PRIOR to defending him or herself against the charges brought against them. Accordingly, this Article provides assurances that the Athlete whose defense includes such charges, will have the opportunity to bring an action against such a laboratory or Signatory.

Article FIVE:

In the WADA CODE, multiple parties are allowed to initiate appeals, even when not initially involved in 'prosecution' of an AAF. Although the modifications accepted for the 'new' 2007 WADA CODE restrict more precisely the potential appellants, the wording in the CODE does not harmonize or mandate procedures and rights of Athletes to face consolidated appeals, including those initiated by non–participating Signatories.

Athletes may certainly appeal against adverse (negative) decisions; likewise for the Signatory under whose authority the first instance was arbitrated. However, the CODE still grants rights to appeal by non–participating Signatories, including WADA, to 'take up the case' against an 'acquitted Athlete.

[NB: Rights attributed, in Article 13 of the WADA CODE, to the IOC and the Paralympic Committees are not a subject of this ABoR: WADAwatch has great respect for those bodies and their history of fairness.]

The inherent disproportionate resources available to an IF or other Signatory, in comparison to any Athlete, warrant consideration of the injustice of having an arbitration decision in support of an Athlete (thus overturning a lab's AAF finding) being appealed by any non–participating Signatory (WADA CODE Article 13).

Is WADA conceding that it has little faith in the abilities of Signatories or Athletes to partake in a neutral arbitration that offers objective decisions based on facts? Or is it necessary for WADA to regulate in the negative, providing itself an inoculated avenue through which it can impose upon Athletes a sizeable financial burden: a de facto 'intimidation' or 'harassment' upon the Athlete to accept the arbitrated results when found against them?

The wording of CODE Article 13.2.3 does not sufficiently protect Athletes; this ABoR Article FIVE may help to balance WADA's drafting biases.

Article SIX:

In order for any accused Athlete to attain the justice from AAFs that may have components of malfeasance or fraudulent actions by opposing parties (laboratories, ADOs or IFs, breach of confidentiality, etc.), the Athlete must have an opportunity to bring witnesses that could absolve their case through objective testimony.

The facts reveal that 'standardization and harmonization' of WADA–accredited laboratory performance has been ineffective, incomplete and/or slow to realize (Eg: In the Carbon Isotope Ratio Test (GC/C/IRMS) for testosterone there is no concrete standard for the number of metabolites, >3 per mil, that establish an AAF.** The UCLA laboratory standard requires three out of four as a minimum; the French 'Département des analyses' (Formerly the LNDD) only required one in the Floyd Landis, 2006 Tour de France cycling case).

As a natural progression from the previous ABoR Articles TWO through FIVE, this Article must offer access to the experts within the WADA 'family' of accredited laboratories. In the alternative, it must be considered an added onus on any lab's performance to know that its results must withstand 'peer review', one of the fundamental standards of properly performed laboratory science. If WADA created a unique “scientific universe” in its family of accredited laboratories, it has minimal grounds for sustaining the 'ban' against Athletes who seek expert opinions within that system; they must have access to expert opinions from scientists working within that closed system.

Article SEVEN:

Crucial to this Article is the preposition that litigated cases may be “... clearly a result of malfeasance or fraudulent acts by any Signatory agent of WADA...”. Incidents of an Athlete being accused of doping, if not proven, will already have effected lasting damage on his or her reputation, not to mention those reputations of the Team or Sport being besmirched. WADA cannot allow such cases to bring profit to media, distortions of perceptions of Athletes and Sport(s), and thus must consider 'case–specific' remedies of benefit to tarnished Athletes. Evidently these would clearly be a lesser form of justice, to an Athlete who may be facing public 'destruction' of a career. New text hopefully clarifies the range of violations and actions available.

Article EIGHT:

As Article Seven implies a form of compensation for 'case–specific' injuries, Article EIGHT offers a means for Athletes to influence their sport or country's controlling bodies (ADOs, IFs, or others) to initiate proceedings against the laboratory or other Signatory that should be investigated for malfeasance and/or fraudulent activity. New text hopefully clarifies the range of violations and actions available, and harmonizes with Article SEVEN.

Article NINE:

It is undeniable that, in the world of financed Sport sponsoring and events production, there will be cases in which a Signatory may choose (to satisfy 'justifiable domestic reasons'), to initiate a 'renegade' proceeding outside of the WADA 'track' of arbitration – decision – appeal – final result. (Cf: the French AFLD proceeding against Floyd Landis, ostensibly initiated to 'close a loophole' as to potential participation in the 2008 Tour de France, if and when the TdF is to be run outside the auspices of the International Cycling Union (UCI))

Signatories, however, cannot 'avoir le beurre, et l'argent du beurre'* at the same time. Either a Signatory is within the WADA CODE, and abiding by the privileges and perils therein, or it isn't. In the above cited Landis case, the French AFLD decision does not appear to support the WADA process, and may in fact be erroneously determined. Perhaps WADA should refine or remove any supposed support to Signatories that cannot resolve litigation in a streamlined way for Athletes. The French case could have been established and litigated along with the USADA case brought against Landis, if such an ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS were already part of the WADA CODE.

* This French proverb: ('one cannot have butter, and the money from selling it'), roughly says 'you can't have it both ways'.

Article TEN:

Complementing ABoR Article NINE, yet differently from Article FIVE, Athletes must have the unabridged right to appeal properly–adjudicated ADO decisions AND any 'renegade' Signatory's decisions through one appellate process. New text corrects the error in reference to prior Article NINE, incorporates the concept of 'intermediate appeals prior to CAS', and clarifies the text in harmonizing with that prior Article.


A legal eye would see, in reading this proposed ATHLETE'S BILL OF RIGHTS, that proper drafting (at this point, redrafting) of the WADA CODE, and the International Standard for Laboratories (as well as the IST for Testing), would moot as unnecessary much of the contentions herein resolved.

WADAwatch stands available to assist IFs, ADOs, the IOC and WADA itself, to attain the means to properly and fairly control the fight against doping in Sport.

* Many thanks to the anonymous donor of this important Article THREE legal contribution.

** Major gratitude is extended to a fellow Blogspot author,
Vélo Vortmax, whose ability to put science into words has always helped balance the WADAwatch legal focus. Thank you, Jon.

*** WADAwatch redaction, undertaken 6-8 February, 2008. An error (cut/pasted 'single strike-through' text did not keep the line through each letter or word) was corrected 19 February, 2008.

:-) (-:

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.


© 2008 ZENmud productions

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