Thursday, 29 October 2009

Lord of the Leaks (Bordry déchainé)

FLASH SIDEBAR: French Secretary of State for Sport Rama Yade, announced yesterday (in Amaury Editions' daily newspaper Le Parisien (en français)) that she wanted a 'rapprochement' between the UCI and the AFLD... and that this was 'important'; meanwhile she (as are we all) also awaited the responses from the UCI as to the substance of the AFLD allegations, contained in its early–October report. Maybe this is a positive sign, and/or a signal to the AFLD of its lack of professionalism? After all, Bordry's attack via the press certainly exacerbated the quest for official response(s) through ordained WADA channels.

The rest of this article is somewhat of a follow-up to our series
Ethic Cleansing /Nettoyage éthique,
analyzing another article from a partisan
(if not biased) French media

October's end is coming soon...

Around the Northern world the Oaks turn red, the Maples yellow, and their leaves fall to the ground in quiet forests... more poetic than the falling 'leaves' in Paris: this series of supportive articles from Stéphane Mandard, flattering his new source and alter–ego: Pierre Bordry. The Directeur of the Agence française du lutte contre le dopage (AFLD). Only Damien Ressiot could be jealous, whose anti–cycling history remains premier in the annals of French coverage of 'le petit rein' (EN: 'the little Queen' aka the sport of cycling). Many others are feeling growing outrage or disgust, with sincere doubts as to the motivation that instigated this 'bombshell' lobbed from AFLD towards the UCI. But which side of the issue?

A third salvo from Mandard, appearing on the Le Monde web–site and dated October 7, 2009, was overlooked in preparing our three–part special on CW II (Cycling War Two).

At this point in time, this author would rather have a diploma in Psychiatry than Law, to be able to diagnose with certainty the pseemingly psychotic ramblings of Plucky Pierre Bordry, the AFLD's scrupulous boss, dutifully transcribed by Le Monde's partisan journalist.

Does this statement shock you? Maybe you've missed previous gems cast up by Mandard's unilateral faith in Bordry's position. However, the underlying story about all this hum-drum, would be 'how did the newspaper Le Monde become the new voice for Plucky Pierre?'

Here's the finest example, from the Mandard article of mid-October:

"Une fois de plus, le président de l'UCI, Pat McQuaid, crée une polémique générale mais ne répond pas aux questions que nous soulevons, déclare au Monde le président de l'AFLD, Pierre Bordry. Le rapport que nous avons établi s'appuie sur des faits précis et des témoignages qui mettent en avant des dysfonctionnements que nous avions constatés depuis le départ du Tour de France et dont nous avions alerté le président de l'UCI."


"One more time, the president of the UCI, Pat McQuaid, creates a general polemic but doesn't respond to the questions that we underscored, declared the president of the AFLD, Pierre Bordry to Le Monde. The report that we established pushes on the precise facts and witness statements that put forward the dysfunctions that we observed since the start of the Tour de France and of which we had alerted the President of the UCI."


It truly appears that Mandard has seriously confused the meaning of the phrase 'creating a polemic'. Especially since he is personally and professionally involved in the birth of this controversy; there would be no 'polemic' had the AFLD 'Report' first gone to its two official recipients.

That's one nicely drawn prejudicial determination, Monsieur Mandard.

As in the 2005 AFLD/LNDD 'Affaire Armstrong', a 'report' or 'results' leaks to the press, far in advance of any proper WADA Signatory protocols for establishing 'fault' by a fellow Signatory (2005: alleged 'EPO' findings against Armstrong; 2009: alleged 'complacency' against UCI). The first meaning of this, is that the AFLD and LNDD have collaborated to violate the WADA Code as to 'cooperation' between Signatories that are by Treaty and Signature members of the same family.

The Legal Advisory staff of (or to) the AFLD, one must acknowledge, are 'aiding and abetting' the AFLD Directeur by professing through the French Press, their total ignorance of obligations as to the Role of a National Anti–Doping Organization within WADA's family (delineated in Code Article 20.5).


The first Le Monde article was published on October 5, discussing a report 'being delivered' to the UCI. Only in a twisted mind, would one (of course) demand a response from the opposition regarding allegations (that means 'unproven') emanating from a blind–siding report that that the recipient (or allegedly non–compliant) received 48 hours prior (which certainly was at least a week after Mandard received it, non?).


Bordry's tawdry allegations don't involve the professional integrity of Mr. McQuaid, president of the UCI. They allege complacent behaviour of those employees (or other contracted agents), on the one hand, and alleged that the police 'found' 'team medical waste' that 'is being tested for DNA' etc., etc..

Yet Bordry couldn't accord (bien sûr que non!) a fellow Signatory sufficient time to make inquiries and determine whether the Bordry allegations were legitimate. Whatever Mandard's previous journalistic competence and experience at a great paper, they don't seem to preclude his obvious pushing of an agenda to 'sway opinion' and 'corrupt' that process.

More quotes, this one from Bordry (via Mandard/Le Monde), regarding the UCI announcement of a new partner for Tour de France doping controls (ie.: not the AFLD in 2010):

"Qu'est-ce que cela veut dire, un partenaire neutre ?", interroge Pierre Bordry. "Si cela signifie se taire, alors ce ne sera pas l'AFLD. Si on veut vraiment lutter contre le dopage, il faut une politique rigoureuse des contrôles. Or, sur le Tour de France, cet été, pour ne reprendre qu'un seul exemple, des échantillons ont été transportés en dehors de toute précaution de bonne conservation. C'est tout à fait inadmissible. Et c'est notre rôle que de le dire."

In English:

What is that trying to say, 'a neutral partner'?” asks Pierre Bordry. "If that signifies keeping silent, then that will not be the AFLD. If one wants to really fight against doping, there has to be a rigorous policy for the controls. However, on the Tour de France, this summer, to take only one example, some samples were transported outside the boundaries of all precaution for proper conservation. It's really inadmissible. And it's our role to state this.”

Has the thought occurred to others, that if the French laboratory is whinnying about poor transport, why hasn't it trumpeted the 'results' that 'prove' that Samples were degraded? If it tested 185 urine Samples, and of that number, all the Samples received were degraded, on the day in which this allegation from its scrupulously–copied witness statements, voilà(!) the proof of one of Bordry's allegations. Yet Team BordryMandard certainly wouldn't go so far as to mention that corroborative proof? Nor does Bordry congratulate either the UCI or itself for the other 20 days of properly–transported Sample deliveries: which one presumes were seemingly in compliance with the WADA IST.

Keep in mind another legal aspect: the AFLD analysed 185 urine Samples from the TdF 2009; the Swiss laboratory analyzed 352 blood samples. One presumes that AFLD's département des analyses and the Swiss lab operated in all conformity with the WADC, its ISL and Tech documents. If A Samples were 'positive', by the WADC we should not know that until after the B Samples' re–examination process was finished: confidentiality being a stipulated requirement (all too often ignored by most Signatories) is mandated under WADA Code Articles 6.4, 7.1 & 7.2, and 14.2.

Thus one can specify that, had no Controls been announced at this late date as positive, then the AFLD and Swiss laboratories found no positives. That's a far step from '
remaining silent' as if submitted to any alleged 'UCI authority'.

Until an anonymous friend (hint?) sends to WADAwatch a copy of this official AFLD Report, we are left gleaning the web for allegations contained therein. A quote from the Ministre de la santé et des sports, Rosalyne Bachelot, offers not–unexpected total support to the Agency, of which she offered a reminder in pre-Tour publicity, is “funded 95pc by my Ministry" (a rare WADAwatch 'pearl' in French):

"Il faudrait que l'UCI présente des arguments extrêmement sérieux pour discréditer l'AFLD en ne lui confiant pas les analyses. Ce ne serait pas, je pense, en faveur de l'UCI."


The UCI is going to have to present some extremely serious arguments to discredit the AFLD by not conferring [2010 Tour] analyses to them. This would not be, I think, in favour of the UCI.”

Rest assured, Madame Bachelot, that the UCI is on notice for the seriousness of replies that it must offer, year after year, to the allegations brewing in Bordry's creative mind. ("Restez–vous bien rassurée, Madame la Ministre Bachelot, que l'UCI est bien au courant, à propos le niveau du sérieux des réponses qu'il doit fournir, année après année, aux allégations que brouillaient dan l'esprit créatif du M. Bordry) Proof comes from the 2005 Vrijman report, a massive response to the tawdry and unsubstantiated allegations that ricocheted around the world, regarding Lance Armstrong and alleged EPO use in 1999.

Mandard also noted that, in the renegade 2008 Tour de France (under guidance of the FFC, not UCI), seven riders were captured by the AFLD. Readers of this column should have in their memory the fact that the new generation EPO: CERA, was the 'dopage préféré' last year, and found through cooperation with Roche, the pharmaceutical company that had developed this new red blood cell–augmentation treatment. (below is a repeat of our favourite 2008 cartoon, from sister-blog crystelZENmud ...)

We applaud the one appearance of journalistic neutrality appearing in this October 7 article: Mandard reminds us that the ITF (Tennis Federation) has run its Roland Garros doping controls through a Swedish company (IDTM) for the 'Testing' (Sample acquisition and transport to lab), which delivered them to the Montreal WADA-accredited laboratory. for analysis Mandry doesn't question, however, why the AFLD isn't decrying the lack of professionalism by his Montreal counterpart, nor the ITF.

Le Monde's reporter ends his article with another twisted, AFLD-serving rendition of the 2003 WADA Independent Observers report on the Tour of that year:

Dans leur rapport, ces derniers avaient pointé un certain nombre de faiblesses qui se retrouvent dans celui de l'AFLD six ans plus tard, et émis des recommandations afin d'améliorer l'efficacité des contrôles. [.....]

We offer this translation:

In their report, these [Observers] had pointed out a certain number of weak points that are found again in the report of the AFLD six years later, and emitted some recommendations in order to ameliorate the efficiency of the controls.

WADAwatch reminds (tirelessly) that, when the UCI responded to that WADA IO report, it noted numerous occasions when the IO rapporteurs mistakenly derived 'proper procedures' from UCI regulations: it was up to the UCI to respond, reminding that new authority (WADA and its authors) that the UCI operated under French law, to conform its performance with that required by the legal authority on French territory: la belle France. We hope that the UCI would not have to remind Plucky Pierre Bordry of the same responses and those same French laws.

one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Friday, 23 October 2009

The 'Phone-y War': updates on AFLD v UCI 2009

Two new articles appeared nearly simultaneously with our publishing of the three part series Nettoyage Ethique / Ethic Cleansing

The first is more amusing than 'damning', and written by a true master of French journalism, Claude Drousset. Former writer for l'Equipe, editor of Vélo Magazine (French monthly cycling mag), Drousset amused his audience by reminding his French readers (and Francophiles worldwide) of the location, during the week in which the AFLD 'bombarded' the UCI through Le Monde articles (as noted above), of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy was on official state visit in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, and 'home' of the Swiss–licensed, Kazakh–sponsored team Astana, in the 'collimator' via the AFLD 'UCI Report'.

Follow the link above to read these translated gems from the keyboard of a master:

I imagine this little fictional scene. Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, day before yesterday. [Ww: implying Tuesday, 6 October] The Grand Auditorium of the Presidential Palace. Nicolas Sarkozy at the side of his homologue Nursultan Nazarbaïev. Before them, a group of Ministers, elected representatives, directors of multinationals and grands medias all together. Object: the signature of an engagement of some four billion Euro in contracs, beween Kazakhstan and the largest French entreprises. Until now, this writing is true. The fictional touch? Nazarbaïev, at the point of signing the accord, who lifts his pen and turns toward Sarkozy:

One second, Mister President, what is this story, in your country, of the favourable treatment of which our racers benefited from the last Tour de France?”

Astana is also a conglomerate of entreprises, sponsor of the team of Contador and Armstrong. This team is targeted in a report of the AFLD, which was leaked Monday. The eve of the Astana Summit. One can imagine the light agony of our hyper-cool President.


The ears of Pierre Bordry, AFLD patron, must have been burning since Monday and the publication by of the contents [of the 'UCI Report']. Not only because of the responses from Pat McQuaid, UCI president, furious to be placed one more time (by the French) before its ambiguities in the face of doping. Not only because of the embarrassment of Roselyne Bachelot and Rama Yade, Minister and Secretary of State (de tutelle (?)), called upon to make comments but who also remembered personally that Nicolas Sarkozy had publicly qualified Lance Armstrong in July as a “formidable example”. Four billions of contracts and the admiration of a President of the Republic, facing ten pages of report and some medical waste.

How will this end? We await details, facts and responses from concerned parties, especially the UCI?

+ + + + + + + + + + +

Also an insightful article was published October 21, comes from the South; South African site has an AP feed article with 'all the details' regarding what was found by the 'French police' in the medical waste from the 2009 Tour. The title:

Armstrong doping suspicions are suspicious

A company named Cosmolys is said to have been contracted by many Tour teams to dispose of their 'medical trash', which one can understand means legitimate used bandaging (for 'road rash' accidents) and other such items (in an age where AIDS is a legitimate concern, responsible authorities have altered the concept of 'trash disposal, and should be applauded). French police seized 15 'containers', stated an anonymous 'French judicial official'.

Apparently 14 boxes were 'what one would expect', but curiously, the Astana box was claimed to be stuffed with 'large quantities' of syringes and intravenous infusion apparati. We are reminded that, under the WADC, IV drips are banned without Therepeutic Use Exemption (TUE). the IOL article from AP tells us that a different company has been engaged to examine this 'evidence', for 'evidence' of its origin, through DNA analysis. The company is TOXLAB, which was part of the '... investigation into Princess Diana's death.' (TOXLAB does not appear to have a website; one of its staff maintains an email through a 'French web-email-service (similar to GMail or Hotmail))

SIDEBAR: The actual investigation is being run by the vice-Procureur Dominique Pérard (Ww leaves his title in French, it is the equivalent of 'Vice Prosecutor' (meaning 'second', not 'addictions'). The agency investigating this 'sordid story' is the OCLAESP: l'Office central de lutte contre les atteints à l'environnement et à la santé publique (roughly the Central Office for the Fight against the Offences to the Environment and Public Health)

The article gets to a point we had discussed at WADAwatch the same day, how unusual it seems that the French police searched and found this group of items:

Did they have legitimate reasons or are they being manipulated by people seeking to embarrass Armstrong and the UCI?

Would they have gone to such lengths with other sports?

What is clear is that the probe was kept quiet for three months until last week, when word leaked to French media just before Armstrong flew to Paris for the unveiling of next year's Tour route.

An important fact that was 'conveniently ignored' by Stéphane Mandard, the agente–provacateur for this year's Tour scandal, is mentioned by the AP and IOL. Doctors from other Tour teams stated that the Cosmolys' system for medical waste disposal is not sealed, thus access by third parties is conceivable.

SIDEBAR: This makes a legitimate question arise: should Cosmolys, whose contract calls for the safe disposal of medical waste for Teams on the Tour which, themselves, and thanks to information derived from mostly French sporting news journalists, are targeted in a high–visibility and unsecured sport [Ww: No stadiums, or permanent facilities] reasonably foresee that a third–party could acquire access to its meds-waste facility, and thereby compromise the integrity of a team or teams? IOW: Are we assured that sufficient cautions were taken by this contractor to the Tour?

One could think of a word: 'negligence', and a question: 'why isn't
legitimate medical waste collected and analyzed through the global 'anti–doping' family for ALL sports? Ponder that...

The AP – IOL article has this to say in conclusion:

... if Astana is exonerated, will the same people who put Armstrong and cycling in the spotlight by leaking word on the probe say sorry? Don't count on it.”

Well, mes amis, AFLD seems to have much in common with Oliver, whose words defined a classic American film. LOVE STORY: “... means never having to say you're sorry'"

We remind readers that the French judicial system is slogging through the worldwide-crisis presented by 'a 2006 hacking' case, which is purported to be involving a certain Tour winner who was stripped of his title, and a Doctor that was or is his trainer' and that that case is now three years old. WADAwatch wrote an extensive history, which leaves a perplexed reader wondering how a Doctor in California could have employed the 'authorized' French government Hackers (who were also responsible in cases brought by Greenpeace FR, and an independent attorney who represented 'small-investor-class' shareholders, against two of France's biggest State-owned (or majority minority shareholders) corporations.

This story is growing folks: is it unravelling against the French Agency AFLD? Stand by for a weekend wrap up of other news from the CW II... and the Lord of the Leaks...

one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Ethic cleansing / Nettoyage éthique – Part I

[This is a three-part series regarding the French Anti-Doping Agency AFLD, and the current events it has instigated. Part I offers the escalating situation as viewed by the French Press, Part II reveals information published by AFLD itself, as a report of activities is analysed, and Part III suggests that WADA has sufficient information to act objectively in investigating a 'rogue' Signatory...]

AFLD – “Absurdly Foul, Legally Deceitful”?

What happened to petit Pierre at the school playground?

Was he pulled off the 'balançoire' (FR: 'teeter-totter') too many times by some Parisian bully? If you could read his mind, would you see the malveillance (EN: 'spitefulness') festering? That's roughly what's happening in France and Switzerland this month...

Eddy Merckx said “It's all just publicity from them - it's crazy,” from the Cycle Show in Earls Court. (article from

Laurent Jalabert was slightly more humerous: “These are wet firecrackers.”

What subject united the Cannibal and Jaja last week? Their common deception arose from the media frenzy over an 'official Report' issued by the 'rancunière' (EN: 'spiteful') Agence française pour le lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), and its Directeur 'Plucky Pierre' Bordry, which was published in Le Monde. The premier salvoes in this new Cycling War Two (CW II), were launched from the AFLD–France towards UCI–World.

The AFLD lobbed accusation-bombs from its position, safe behind a new, press–enabled ligne Maginot, towards the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in Aigle, Switzerland. Those bombs are provoking reverberations, perhaps a tsunami in a teapot, at WADA, in Montreal. Do not doubt it: phone lines are burning, between scandal-per-day Paris (President Sarkozy: and his son, or Minister of Culture, the Clearstream case, France Telecom suicides and/or the dairy farmers), Montreal and Aigle, Switzerland (UCI HQ). WADAwatch charts this affair, in escalation since the unseemly publicity of cher Pierre's 'J'accuse!' UCI Report in the French press two weeks ago, while 'said Report' was still in transit to WADA and UCI. Evidently Le Monde has replaced l'Equipe as the AFLD agente-presse of choice, ending an ignoble era. A torch-passing, if you will...

SIDEBAR: we prefer to believe that equitable reasoning was what motivated the Amaury family's new-found 'compliance', as a Major Event Organizer within WADA. If true, Ww would applaud this. However, our past article mentioned alleged 'quids pro quo' through the 'good offices' of Jean–Claude Killy, an ASO director as well as International Olympic Committee member, who 'may have had some influence' as to who in France received TV rights for the 2014 Saatchi Winter Games (hint: they own Really Big Bicycle Races in France) in Russia, in return, it was suggested, for Amaury Editions agreement to desist chasing cycling/doping stories.

Whether or not ASO has clean motives for ceasing publishing 'premature, illegally–leaked A Sample control results' in its own paper, l'Equipe, it has ended this conflict-of-interest. In publishing those A Sample results, source(s) become culpable for WADA Code violations, which were no less substantial than any Athlete's AAF.

WADA has never publicly taken a decision to interdict those violations. Leaks of positive A Sample results, even if prohibited through the WADA Code ('WADC'), were certainly good publicity for its fund– and awareness–raising. Yet any leaks of this nature are the bane of accused Athletes – innocent or guilty – whose rights are violated every time WADC Article 7 Results Management, and/or Article 14.2.1 (Article 14.2 Public Disclosure; part of Article 14 Confidentiality and Disclosure) are expressly ignored. If WADA is working 'behind the scenes' to clean up these bad acts, so be it, and good luck. However, unless it does occur, it remains just one of many documented 'non–compliance issues' for WADA.

Le Monde published a second Stéphane Mandard article in mid–October. The new piece amplifies the detail regarding AFLD allegations from his previous story, which WADAwatch covered on 5 October 2009: UCI methods attacked by AFLD. Mandard starts with a slam:

Est-ce pour fuir les gendarmes et l'Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), que le Tour de France, dont le parcours de l'édition 2010 a été dévoilé mercredi 14 octobre, s'élancera de Rotterdam en juillet prochain ?

Ww translation:

Is it to escape the (French) police and the AFLD, that the Tour de France, of which the route for the 2010 edition was revealed on Wednesday, 14 October, will launch from Rotterdam next July?

Anyone thinking: 'what a prejudicial (and ignorant) question!'? Le Monde, usually an insightful journal for world and financial affairs, chose not to explore these angles: it's common knowledge that this year's Vuelta de Espagna earned some €3 million (Euros) to begin its 2009 race in Holland, the Netherlands. And if starting the Vuelta in Holland can generate €3 million, no doubt the cachet of the Tour de France will ratchet that up higher: perhaps €4 to 6 million?

But 'obviously' Le Tour needs to 'flee the AFLD' (?)... curious, how Mandard associates 'Le Tour' with the UCI in this setting.

Casual cycling observers would have no problem conjuring up the next image – a battalion of French gendarmes taking position next July. Their target? Perhaps hotels in the two French village(s) that the Tour 2010 will first invade: Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, where the Tour ends the 3rd stage, and nearby Cambrai, where the 4th stage starts, respectively the 6th and 7th July, 2010.

But who watches the watchers?

The owners of the Tour are very interested in profits, Monsieur Mandard: it's their business. Why write about a technicality-filled subject without displaying the competence to be taken as an authority on it? The AFLD UCI Report seems likely to become an escalating affair: if not against the UCI, then perhaps through a long-overdue WADA inquiry into AFLD motivations. One notices that Mandard's role is less than that of a fine journalist: he appears as a shill, parroting the position of one side in an effort to stir up an international 'conflict'.

Madame la Secretaire d'État de Sport Rama Yade !
Madame la Ministre Roselyne Bachelot

Vous ne voulez pas retenir cette grande gueule de
l'AFLD –
Monsieur Bordry?

('Do you not want to hold back this big-mouth
from the AFLD –
Mr Bordry?')

The Le Monde article continues its master-of-insinuation account:

Si aucun coureur n'a été rattrapé par la patrouille cet été, c'est que, contrairement à 2008 – où le Tour ne s'était pas déroulé sous l'égide de l'Union cycliste internationale (UCI) en raison d'un conflit ouvert avec l'ancien patron d'ASO, Patrice Clerc, l'AFLD n'était pas seule aux commandes des contrôles.

Ww translation:

If no single racer was trapped by the patrols this summer, it's that, unlike 2008 – where the Tour was not run under guidance from the UCI, by reason of an open conflict with the ancient ASO patron, Patrice Clerc, the AFLD was not alone at the commands for the Doping Controls.

Finally, author Mandard's pièce de résistance:

Et l'enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Paris après la saisie de centaines de seringues et de matériel de perfusion auprès de plusieurs équipes, dont Astana ? Les organisateurs ont appris la nouvelle "par la presse".


And the preliminary investigation opened by the Paris court after the seizure of hundreds of syringes and transfusion material (found) near several teams, including Astana? The organizers (ED: UCI) learned the news 'by the press'.

Holy Insinuendo, Batman!

This would be funny if it weren't serious...

Recall, that the 'First Cycling War' (for which an Armistice was 'signed' in late fall 2008) was the result of ASO reactions to UCI's action begun years ago, when the UCI received a request by the major cycling Team sponsors, who'd found themselves denied entry to one or more of cycling's Grand Tours (of Italy, France and Spain). ASO contended that the UCI ProTour team license concept had taken away its ability to 'manage' their own choice of teams. Both the Spanish and Italian organizers lined up in league with this complaint. Yet this French author wants us to orient our thinking towards the UCI as 'renegade'... a classic case of 'revisionist history'. However, in every year since Festina (n'oubliez-vous pas ça, quand même!), there have been 'cases' found, and in every year but one, UCI directed those efforts. So Mandard's shrill effort is without foundation.

We are not offered the meaning behind his statement that those items were found 'near the teams'; he offers no analysis of how AFLD knew about the flasks and syringes if UCI staff didn't, and how UCI staff never took notice of the French gendarmes that flocked around Pierre's boys (and girls?). But wait!

SIDEBAR: “... hundreds of syringes?” Hundreds? Recollection of the original article was 'some syringes' and 'medicine bottles'; has Mandard inflated the claims since early October, now to huge quantities ('Festina-style'?), boxes and boxes of dirty needles? 'Hundreds' means at least two hundred: is Mandard claiming there was the equivalent of one needle for every rider in the Tour?

Are certain teams so insanely possessed by the quest for victory, that they forgot to dispose the evidence discretely, far from the snooping eyes of the honourable French police? Really, this seems ludicrous beyond the imagination of anyone but a seemingly-demented AFLD director, and a too-eager-to-please journaliste. We are loathe to conceptualize French police 'planting' evidence, but are not remiss in thinking that some 'third–party sympathizer' could have done so...

“Coach! Coach! What should I do weese our team's
used syringes? Zee ones from zee room of
Jean-Pierre Pedalstrap*,
le Directeur sportif adjoint,
where all our
dopers shoot up zere drugs,
z'EPO and zere Blood transfusions?”

“Sacré BLEU, I have not zee time for you, idiot!

You must to fill zee cars with zee gas! Fill zee
bottles, and leave zose syringes in
trashbins here in zese hotel!

“Merd-uh! No one eez going to find zem if
you cover zem over weese z'Equipe from yezterday...”

*ficticious name

Next we read: “... (UCI) learned the news 'by the press'”?

We count on Bordry to convince a fellow French journalist to 'act shocked', à la Claude Raines in CASABLANCA (“...shocked! To learn that gambling is going on in this club!”), that the UCI didn't find out anything from its contracted French partner, prior to the AFLD screeching ('wailing cat' syndrome?) its accusations to the press, expressly to embarrass the International Federation. If the UCI found out by 'the press' of this official Report and its allegations, that fault can only be due to seemingly deceitful tactics and publicity-mongering (thanks Eddie Merckx) by the AFLD. The Mandard insult only compounds Bordry's neurotic display.

For good measure, dramatic effect and without taste, Mandard reminds us that Frank Vandenbroucke died mid-month (with an insinuating question mark). Although his death in Africa, while on vacation with a male friend, doing Jesus-knows-what, has nothing to do with the UCI, the Tour de France, or ASO, it certainly imports substantial suspicion on cycling, furthering the agenda in this article promoting the AFLD's 'righteous purity'. (Unlike Mandard, we offer our condolences to a Vanderbrouke family that is suffering an untimely loss...)

And how does Mandard conclude this drama?

Hang on (!):

"On va droit dans le mur. Il va y avoir un drame. Un mec va claquer sur son vélo. Et là, on n'aura plus d'autre choix que de réagir, commente sous couvert d'anonymat le directeur sportif d'une équipe française. ASO avait une occasion unique de s'en sortir avec les honneurs en rompant avec l'UCI. Cela s'est transformé en occasion ratée." Le patron d'ASO a bien promis de "tout mettre en oeuvre pour promouvoir un dialogue responsable entre les acteurs de la lutte antidopage". Mais l'AFLD a déjà annoncé qu'elle ne s'aventurerait pas dans une nouvelle collaboration avec l'UCI sur le Tour 2010. Le duel annoncé entre Alberto Contador et Lance Armstrong n'en sera que plus "magnifique".


"We're going right into the wall. There's going to be a drama. A guy's going to crack on his bike. And there, we won't have any other choice but to react, comments under anonymity the director sportif of a French team. ASO had a unique occasion to get out with honours by rupturing with the UCI. That's been transformed into an blown opportunity.” The ASO patron really promised to “put everything to work for promoting a responsible dialogue between the actors for the anti-doping fight.” But the AFLD has already announced that it wouldn't adventure into a new collaboration with the UCI on the 2010 Tour. The announced duel between Alberto and Lance will only be more than “magnificent”.

Certainly our writing at WADAwatch is no less sarcastic than the Le Monde extracts above.

Why didn't Mandard mention that the 'anonymous' Directeur sportif probably represents one of two French teams who were recently 'slapped down' by UCI, which denied renewals of their 2010 ProTour elite licenses: is this only more French raisins amers ('sour grapes')? On the other hand, how would a clean team's DS know so much about what other teams are doing, and the wall that riders may face one day? If they 'know', we should have seen police taking riders away in handcuffs: is this 'anonymous witness' reminding us that the Omerta amongst cycling teams is ever stronger?

Here's a hypothesis (hypothetical, outrageous, but incorporates all the 'facts'):

Some French 'agent(s)', tired of 'imported victors' winning its historic Tour, found access to teams' hotel room trash cans, in order to hide fake evidence, by creating a 'red Herring' police investigation, protected by a French hierarchy. A complacent press aided in that effort, complementing the AFLD report implicating the UCI and Astana.
(Well, that may display more 'Watson' than Holmes...)

The Directeur Sportif quoted anonymously, above, advocates a permanent rupture, evidently, between the UCI and the Tour owner ASO. To what end, whose benefit? Maybe those two teams who no longer hold ProTour status? If AFLD succeeds in creating a new schism, and the Tour 2010, as was in 2008, reverts to a National Event under FFC control (la Fédération française de cyclisme), then AFLD gets to write its own ticket, a conquest built on its history of hysteria to the media, and Really Bad Science.

We recall that it's been years since a French rider was 'busted' for doping, although (sadly) Laurent Fignon joined a Legion of historical cycling figures, by admitting his personal Tour–doping legacy, during 2009, on the occasion of revealing his life–threatening cancer. NB: no Tour official ever requested Laurent's Yellow Jersey (as they had for Bjarne Riis). Fignon's loud sobbing overwhelmed his sportscasting team from France 2 TV last July, in their booth at the Champs-Élysées within minutes of the sprint won by Mark Cavendish: perhaps a 'reality' moment in which the proud champion looked upon this human spectacle for the last time. Ww hopes not.

Finally, the one–sided Le Monde pseudo–news story ends with a last insinuation: the AFLD announced it wouldn't collaborate in 2010 on the Tour. The UCI press release of 5 October, 2009, however, already mentioned that the UCI would 'study the options' (as to finding another laboratory). Given that the UCI stated that immediately, the Monday following the original AFLD 'J'accuse' attack in Le Monde, Mandard reinforces his role as parrot, for this AFLD 'moi aussi!' rant.

Mesdames la Secrétaire Yade et la Ministre Bachelot,
un de
ces jours aimeriez–vous faire du nettoyage ethique
votre Agence française du lutte contre le dopage?

(“Mesdames Secretary and Minister, one of these days would you
like to do some 'ethic cleansing' at the AFLD?”)

[The die is cast... how AFLD and Plucky Pierre actively sought media–covered reinforcement for their provocative attack against the UCI, in the months following the first Tour de France since the 'renegade' Tour of 2008. Stay tuned for Part II and Part III]

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copyright 2009 Ww

Nettoyage Éthique / Ethic Cleansing – Part II

[In Part I of this three-part post, WADAwatch analysed the newest Le Monde article regarding the escalating CWII (Cycling War II) declared by the AFLD against UCI. In this second installment Ww presents AFLD documentation regarding its efforts in the first half of 2009 (especially the Tour de France), to integrate that information with the Le Monde series of articles; Part III discusses the role of WADA in defraying this conflict, should it undertake doing so.]

Unethical acts are not (seemingly) de nouveau at Plucky Pierre's AFLD. M. Bordry has a well–documented penchant towards 'assassination by press leak' (a fine French 'art', relying on blind loyalty from the press), to w
hich the world has habituated itself since 'l'Affaire Armstrong' of 2005–6. Incisive responses were offered by the UCI, whose President, Press and Legal Office(r)s have weathered numerous machinations by the French Agency Director's (seemingly Viagra® stimulated?) obsessions. The UCI responses are in line with the goals it shares, as an IF and Signatory of WADA, which itself has been no stranger to past conflicts regarding the UCI.

Monsieur Bordry, enjoying his up–scale, insider status inside France, has perhaps not realized, given his prior history of press–induced hysteria, how the world may legitimately question the nature of those 'AFLD doctors' deployments.

Cinema buffs fantasize Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) with his magnifying glass, although that would be an insult to fine English actors...

And thus WADAwatch has a 'scoop' for its readers: a recently published report from the AFLD 'vault' documents their first six months of activity for 2009 (let's give them a silver medal: they published this faster than WADA Executive Committee reports...).

Here's a portion of their Report (title translated):

We offer verbatim extracts (in FR) from the section Tour de France 2009 (full translation in English follows; Francophiles should follow this link and read the report's first two pages):

[.....] TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 :

Le Tour de France cycliste 2009 était une compétition internationale, inscrite à ce titre au calendrier de la fédération cycliste internationale, l’UCI.

Un protocole d’accord détaillant les modalités des contrôles, basés sur le ciblage comme le préconise l’article 5.1.3 du Code [.....

Ce protocole s’est inscrit dans le cadre du code mondial antidopage - notamment son article 15.1 - reconnu par les deux parties, [.....]

Durant la compétition, l’AFLD a missionné deux médecins préleveur, dont le référent au niveau national, pour réaliser les prélèvements urinaires et sanguins à l’arrivée des étapes et, de manière inopinée, dans les hôtels des coureurs. [.....]

Les analyses des prélèvements urinaires ont été réalisées par le département des analyses de l’Agence, laboratoire de Châtenay-Malabry, mais les analyses des prélèvements sanguins ont été, à la demande de l’UCI, conduites par le laboratoire antidopage de Lausanne.

L’UCI étant responsable de la politique antidopage et de la gestion des résultats, l’AFLD n’a pas eu communication des résultats des analyses. [.....]

Our translation:

The 2009 cycling Tour de France was an international competition, inscribed at that status on the UCI calendar.

A protocol of agreement detailing the modalities of controls, based on targeting as ordained by Code Article 5.1.3
[ED: WADC Article on Target Testing], was signed as a consequence on 10 June, 2009, by the presidents of the UCI, Mr Pat McQUAID, and of the AFLD, Mr. Pierre BORDRY.

This protocol is inscribed within the frame of the WADA Code – notably its Article 15.1
[ED: That's 'Event Testing' under Article 15 – Clarification of Doping Control Responsibilities] – recognized by the two parties, according to which the UCI is the competent antidoping organization and responsible for the antidoping controls from the cycling events on the international calendar, as well as the common wish of the IF and the Agency to coordinate their efforts in order to put into action an efficient policy in the matter of the fight against doping.

During the competition, the AFLD had conferred the mission to two doctors (for taking samples – préleveur), of which the referral to national level (?), to actualize the urinary and sanguine sample-taking at the finish of stages and, in the no-advance-notice manner in the racers' hotels. The Director of Controls for the Agency was a participating party in decisions to select targeted riders, in collaboration with the antidoping officers of the UCI. At the demand of the AFLD, a team of eight independent escorts from the competition Organizer were present during the whole of the competition to effectuate the notification of the designated sportsmen and accompany them under surveillance all the way to the antidoping location.

The analyses of urinary samples were realized by the département des analyses of the Agency, Châtenay-Malabry laboratory, but the blood sample(s) analyses were, at the demand of the UCI, undertaken by the antidoping laboratory of Lausanne (Switz.).

The UCI being responsible for antidoping policy and results management, the AFLD didn't have (any) communication of the results from these analyses. In total, 537 samplings were realized (185 urinary et 352 blood, among which 180 from the start of the race). A report regarding the process of these controls was elaborated from source notes taken by the sampling doctors (AFLD staff), that was transmitted to the UCI as well as, for information, to the WADA and the Ministry of Health and Sports.

To begin with, note that two-thirds of the Samples were not analyzed in France – the Lausanne lab directed by Martial Saugy did all 2009 TdF blood work-ups. Perhaps that is due to the Swiss facility having newer equipment (recalling the LNDD's vintage IsoPrime machine; a 'bastion of reliability' since... 1986?)?

We also find the mathematics interesting: of the 352 blood samples taken, 180 were done prior to the first day's departure. That leaves 172 blood samples extracted during the race period. Yet 185 urine samples were taken. Should we not presume that every in-competition test required a cyclist to give urine and blood? Then why have 13 fewer blood samples, or 13 extra urine samples? Ponder that...

To note from the AFLD semester report, is that AFLD drew some 5,594 Samples from Athletes, of which only 887 (or 15.8pc, they state) were done for International Federations or other international organs (such as the Association of National Anti–Doping Agencies: 'ANADO'). In this four page report, as in other past French official documents we've signalled (such as the Floyd Landis 'renegade' AFLD 'prosecution', or the COFRAC–LNDD 'ISO 17025' report), specificity is not a prime commodity: we are not sure whether the 597 samples pulled from the Tour participants were separate from, or included in, the 887 number above. If included, that makes the TdF the overwhelming leader in diligent sampling. If separate, it still offers a robust percentage of their total 'international' numbers (remember, France had the Skiing World Championships for a fortnight, in Val d'Isère, Feb. 2009). AFLD apparently performed some 24 'supplemental' tests during the ITF Roland Garros tennis tourney, stating that ITF was conducting its own program (presumably elsewhere) as well.

Of the 5,594 samples undertaken, some 73.2pc were 'inopinée' or 'no-advance-notice'; without specificity, we offer the following statistics as, perhaps, reflections as to the large number of national Associations' tested participants:

  • Soccer: 14 infractions (AAF) for 261 controls (5.3pc); cannabinoïdes* (cannabinoids) were the substance most often present;

  • Ice hockey: 12 AAF for 173 controls (6.9pc), also majority of cannabinoïdes;

  • Field hockey: 8 infractions (of which 4 AAF) for 68 controls (12pc), also cannabinoïdes;

  • Cycling: 10 infractions (9 AAF) for 308 controls (3.2pc), most often 'Beta-2 agonistes and glucocorticoïdes';

  • Basketball: 8 AAF for 248 controls (3.2pc), most often cannabinoïdes;

  • 'English' boxing: 7 infractions (of which 6 AAF) for 166 controls (4.2pc) – cannabinoïdes;

  • Water–polo: 5 AAF for 285 controls (1.75pc) – Beta-2 agonistes, cannabinoïdes and glucocorticoïdes;

  • Track and Field: 5 AAF for 533 controls (0.9pc) – glucocorticoïdes (2), stimulants and cannabinoïdes (1 each);

  • Triathlon: 4 AAF for 49 controls (8.1pc) – (no information given);

  • Tennis: 4 infractions (of which 3 AAF) for 124 controls (3.2pc) - (no information given).

*cannabinoids (marijuana component) are in the WADA list of Prohibited Substances
(the S8 class).

A comparison raises interesting observations: why does Plucky Pierre (and his preferred agente-presse du jour) display such wrath against the UCI, when there appear to be bigger 'problems' with other sports IFs or NFs? Athletes were more often found doping in five of the ten sports listed sports above (Soccer, Ice and Field Hockey (both), Boxing and Triathlon); two are identical (interestingly so) to cycling (basketball and tennis), and two are very low (Water Polo, and Track and Field). In the many years of discussing 'cycling' as 'doped', there's few articles about Pierre Bordry writing reports (and spreading publicity) about the massive problems in Boxing, or Soccer, nor of the scourge to health of Cannabinoids... pourquoi ('why')?

Maybe WADA would find it interesting to run an investigation regarding the prejudice against cycling and its origins, when other sports evidently are in need of its enlightened sagesse ('wisdom')?

Meanwhile 'back at the cycling ranch', the AFLD Semester Report said it “didn't have the results” (perhaps meaning 'access to identifying information, permitting them to trace samples to the cyclists'?) from its Tour analyses. Something is unclear, since the 'results' it 'didn't have' were produced in its 'world-class, WADA-Accredited' laboratory, which had developed the current urinary-EPO analysis. Very interesting, the Report phraseology; surely they knew whether any urine controls were 'positive' or 'negative'. However, without having the names to whom those Samples attached, is AFLD only complaining (to the Gouvernement français that funds AFLD, and for whom this report was presented?) they couldn't access the 'information' needed to leak more results this year?

The UCI press release (October 5) said, long before Eddy Merckx and Laurent Jalabert, that the AFLD report contained “accusations made by the AFLD against officials sent to the Tour de France...”, which were “... completely unfounded and indeed very serious.” 'Serious'... to the point of defamatory?

SIDEBAR: The UCI decried the unilateral nature of the AFLD 'UCI Report', issued “... without giving the UCI the opportunity to study it and correct any erroneous comments that it may contain...” Our 'elephant's memory' (and requisite polite manners: to cover our face while smiling), recalls similar AFLD/LNDD complaints regarding the 2006 Vrijman Report, which the UCI issued sans commentaire by those affected French Agencies.

UCI's investigation team had denied (with due cause, we believe) the French agencies an opportunity to comment on that Spring 2006 report, because those agencies refused to cooperate completely, denying both requested documentation and answers. So here the AFLD returns the favour: a petty tit-for-tat (UCI should have ignored announcing this).

The AFLD 2009 First Semester report (a portion of which is translated above) doesn't mention the number of involved UCI officials, but we do know there were ten AFLD officials: two doctors and eight 'independent escorts'. Without a copy of the AFLD 'J'Accuse!' UCI Report, one cannot be sure how extensive the AFLD accusations are, regarding UCI efforts connoting 'preferential treatment (towards Astana and/or other teams)' that inhibited the work of the official AFLD staff.

One can refer, however, to WADC Article 20.5 – Role and Responsibilities of National Anti-Doping Organizations, and its sub–Article 20.5.2: To cooperate with other relevant national organizations and agencies and other Anti–Doping Organizations. Comparable language for IFs such as the UCI comes from sub–Article 20.3.12. One could picture the diligent work performed by the UCI (as claimed and presumed) staff, under a protocol of agreement with the AFLD, while the French Agency's minions were lectured by cher Pierre to maintain silence if they saw 'infractions' and to take those 'scrupulous notes', instead of 'cooperating'?


Picture a Keystone Kops sequence from Mack Sennett, as UCI 'cops' pursued the Teams, and AFLD 'cops' pursue UCI 'cops'; eternal triangular scenes of frustration and... scrupulous note-taking.

How would AFLD respond to this UCI release, and its objective, fact-based commentary:

This attitude is not appropriate and does not give credit to the enormous amount of work carried out by many people during the three weeks of the event under the scope of an intensive anti-doping programme that is the most complete and sophisticated implemented for any sporting event outside the Olympic Games.

One wonders how the AFLD series of accusations, insinuendos and acrimony, against UCI responses, will play out, in face of the silence that wafts across the French media regarding the other, 'dirtier' sports? We are reminded by each Le Monde article, that the AFLD doctors were 'scrupulously taking notes' of UCI staff processes... when were they able to take notes?

Weren't they supposed to be in their on-site trailer (aka Doping Control Station), receiving the daily urine and/or blood samples (and... packing them in proper transit containers)? Did AFLD observe UCI officials telling Team Directors to 'stay out of your hotel from 07h30 to 08h45, so your guys won't be controlled'? Or were these 'notes' of UCI wrongdoings showing them deliberately getting stuck in traffic, thus missing rendezvous times? Do they have phone records from France Telecom of cellular phone calls, identifying personnel by their numbers? More importantly, does AFLD not understand its 'Roles and Responsibilities'?

In the Grand Scheme of cycling's latest internecine combat, the long and gory-ous history of the Cycling Wars merits review of current and past accusations. The credibility of this French Agency is completely tied to its laboratory, which in 2007 couldn't respect its contracted service provisions, by 'going on vacation' mid–contract, and leaving Iban Mayo's B Sample examinations in a mid-August limbo. That situation presented UCI Chief Anti–Doping Officer Anne Gripper with the dilemma of finding a substitute lab (Ghent, Belgium) that could perform Code–mandated B Sample analyses (which choice was against the WADA ISL: B Sample analyses must be performed by the same lab: ISL Article (2004)) on Mayo's purported A Sample 'positive' result.

Let the Record reflect that the UCI didn't whine to the press and issue an 'official Report' about those major AFLD/LNDD failures to comply with the WADC then, nor do we know whether prohibiting another 'mid-contract vacation' was covered in the 2009 contract between the UCI and this French Agency. WADAwatch called that 2007 failure by LNDD a 'work-stoppage/protest/strike'; nothing since has changed that opinion.

Other errors, from the Landaluce case and the 'sloppy' evidence offered in the Landis inquisition, and of course the 2005 Armstrong fiasco, remain in the public memory. Given that a majority of the French lab's work seems to be honestly performed, and yielding straightforward results, how can one understand the 'dérapage' ('skidding out of control') that abounds between AFLD, its lab, the UCI and cycling in general? A theory remains, which could be summarized as 'a French agenda to circumvent or replace the UCI' (?)... as was attributed, in our Part I, to the quote from Mandard of a French team's 'anonymous source'.

The first Le Monde article had stated that questionable transportation practices were noted (scrupulously) by the AFLD UCI Report; yet there have been 'questionable' transportation situations previously. When the WADA Independent Observers' report of TdF 2003 documented similar 'incidents', WADA's Rapporteurs evidently presumed that the functions they had observed were controlled by UCI Rules. Yet the annotated UCI response repetitively cited the controlling French Law; they evidently operated in full compliance (or strove to comply with) of French national legal requirements.

Whether Sample transport, via 2009 contract provisions, is a responsibility assigned to UCI or AFLD (or TdF organizers ASO, or subcontracted), is not a factor for which we have complete information. Yet we doubt that the legal requirements known to UCI in 2003 have been amended through French law, to pass away from French legal authority. Thus a major question arises: should AFLD staff be helpful towards a foreign entity with which it holds a cooperation contract, to understand and conform its practice(s) with French Law?

Should AFLD and Plucky Pierre be fulfilling their obligations under the WADC Article 20.5.2, as to cooperation with the UCI, a foreign IF working its event upon French soil? Or should AFLD be hiding behind trees (our imagination runneth over), scrupulously noting every deviation therefrom?

If considering vendetta or conspiracy theories, one could have predicted such a dénouement to a great Tour, anticipating such news of these last three weeks: total war... CW II

If I stab you in the back, you may not see my smile...

The UCI press release concluded strongly:

Consequently, the UCI will now study the options for collaborating with a neutral partner for anti-doping controls on French soil. Such an option has already been implemented by other International Federations.

The International Tennis Foundation was one such IF, that sought out Montreal's lab for the 2007 Roland Garros (French Open) championship, and evidently maintains its Doping Control obligations away from the AFLD. Martial Saugy (Lausanne's impressive laboratory director) could well be working harder next July; the Swiss lab in Lausanne would only have to ramp up its commitment fifty percent, to absorb the one-third of the analyses (the urinary samples) that AFLD's département des analyses had done. Labs in Madrid, or Germany are also available. The UCI has several months to put out a 'Request for Bids' and select a working partner transparently?

Perhaps Plucky Pierre can aspire to a long–deserved retirement.

Revisit our June article When is a leash not a noose?, to remember how the French legislature amended pertinent legislation, putting a 'government observer' into the AFLD last summer...

Perhaps Bordry decided, as a 'watched government official', to externalize the sentiments ('étouffement'? In EN: 'suffocating') he is suffering? Perhaps he's the point–man for a French 'Mutiny' in the world of Cycling. However, the next journalistic rants, from a scornful French press, will probably castigate the 'dastardly UCI', as well as the 'cowardly, profit-oriented' ASO and the 'doping riders', against whom AFLD has an evident vendetta (more against cycling, than soccer, etc.), and in support of which Le Monde and its writer Mandard slant nearly every sentence.

WADAwatch endorses Ethic Cleansing in
le Gouvernement français...

Chère et belle Rama Yade: on peut pas
vous aider à voir claire?

('Dear and beautiful Rama Yade: cannot
someone aid you to see clearly?')

Unfortunately, especially because of his recidivism in public, French Agency Director Plucky Pierre Bordry appears able to say anything, do anything, or ordain anyone (under him) to do anything, and unless a case is forthcoming from 'on high', it seems to be perfectly okay...

with the wait-until-2010-for-compliance World Anti-Doping Agency

[Part III of this series will discuss WADA's role in light of
'serious allegations' by AFLD, and what should
transpire if those are found specious, as UCI claims...]

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copyright 2009 Ww

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