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
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."
“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 Bordry–Mandard 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.
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