Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Another Perspective on 2008 WADA Laboratory Statistics

When the Honourable John Fahey presided, last November 2008, as Chair of the WADA Executive Committee, his remarks included two important concepts.

First, as to the problem or situation of full Signatory 'compliance', that WADA had “... certainly watered down the black and white approach that many believed should have been taken...”, and secondly, how results achieved via the various Floyd Landis cases proved “... that the system was there and worked properly...”. Our Ww list (of 'Landis Decisions') includes USADA I, USADA/WADA II, AFLD and the settled US Fed. Court case, not to mention the 'Hacking' case still waltzing through the French court system (although Mr Fahey may not have been counting beyond the three US-based cases). Of course, the 'system' to which Mr Fahey refers is the entire WADA system. A question arises, however, as to the consistency of that system's 'efforts'.

In the previous WADAwatch post, legal anomalies for the basis of WADA's statistics reporting for the 2008 Lab Report, were aptly highlighted. That Report included, as an explanation, Footnote 2 (FN2), which justified the inclusion of (within the statistics on legal AAFs) past numbers of “AF (Atypical Finding) results” from 2003 through 2007. Their legal basis to do so (ostensibly to offer well-founded comparative results), remains unclear.

WADAwatch noted three major problems incorporated by this act of Reporting: by including 2008 AF findings in a 2009 official Report, from statistics gleaned from its family of 'accredited laboratories', WADA is 'jumping the gun' by reporting these. AFs were not legally in existence until the ISL, WADC and Tech Docs came into force after January 2009, thus compiling statistics one year early doesn't make sense. Second problem, was that WADA evidently 'knew' (as clear reading of the FN2 reveals) some of its previously-proclaimed AAF Sample analyses (and of course, Athletes) were not AAFs, but had been publicly disclosed as such for those first five years (2003 – 2007), while (now) apparently only being 'AFs', which are lower -threshold anomalies: a 'non-positive', a 'report' provoked by 'atypicality of findings' of a Substance, from whichever body fluid(s) were examined, and for which the Lab's Senior Management wishes to find more information or investigate further. Yet inclusion of the AF stats calls into question how this WADA system appears to be working. The third problem is either moral or legal; if WADA is denominating previously reported AAFs as AFs, up to six years after those AAF were announced, it may have a legal obligation to at least publish the numbers, or identify individual cases that were the basis for these abracadabrasque, statistical sleights-of-hand, now in the end of 2009.

As long as WADA has been operating under its Code, it has promoted the concept of 'laboratory standardization'. To assist in analysing (for our own understanding) the statistics provided by WADA, we developed our own Table of WADA lab statistics, which ranks from 1 to 34 the WADA laboratories by their percentage of achieved 'Findings'. We hesitate to rail against the fact that labs under a 'unified' system, are offering percentages that range from nearly five percent, to barely one-half percent. Take a look at WADAwatch's table, first...

(Save a copy! You have permission; it shows better enlarged.)

The underlying issue resulting from this disclosure of WADA laboratories and their annual reporting of 'Findings', remains pre-eminent: what statistic confirms that WADA has produced a 'standardized system'?

It comes as no surprise which laboratory takes First Place, the systemic Gold Star, by holding the highest percentage of AAF (plus AF) findings. The AFLD 'département des analyses', formerly the French LNDD, holds this 'chapeau'. Following closely are Madrid, Ghent and Prague; these four laboratories complete the group that have 'Findings' results higher than four percent (4pc). Five other labs fill the ranks of labs showing between three and four percent. Nine labs share eight places in labs producing 'Findings' within two to three percent: Lausanne and the newest ('Welcome!') WADA lab from New Delhi, show an identical 'Findings' result (2.46pc). En suite, eleven labs float between one and two percent levels; the lowest group itself, between 0.50 and one percent, includes five labs. See our Table's lower left corner to capture the 'Regional Subtotals', and the lower right shows subtotals by 'percentile'. The 'Top Four' labs, are eleven (11pc) percent of the family of labs (4/34ths) yet created 707 AAFs, a number which equals 23pc of the total 2008 AAFs.

More astonishing analysis comes, however, from examining the number of 'Samples' that were run, by percentile of 'Findings'. The four 'most positive' labs ran just over nine percent of the Samples: 26,115 in sum. The five 'least positive' labs ran 39.84pc of the 2008 Samples: 109,406. The labs that report less than two (2pc) positives but more than one percent, ran 74,723 Samples. That equates to 184,129 Samples, or barely over 67pc of the annual number, showing less than two percent positive 'Findings'.

All four of the 'most positive-findings' laboratories are in Europe; none of the 'least positive-findings' are in Europe: two are from the USA (L.A. and Salt Lake City), two from Asia (Tokyo, Beijing) and Ankara (Turkey: we define 'Europe' as does Nicolas Sarkozy). Our presumption is that WADA is currently questioning these disparate statistics at great length, internally and with correspondence with its Signatories, for the stats call into question 'by what sense' the WADA system is functioning, under the title of 'Laboratory Standardization'. As to the 'champion of positives', under the guidance of AFLD and Pierre Bordry, one might think WADA would add this 'achievement' by that Agency to its analysis, pertaining to various counter-charges levied against the AFLD by the UCI response-report of late October.

The phrase 'the Beauty of Science' has a regular place in texts posted by WADAwatch. When the Beauty of Science is surrounded (Suborned? Submerged?) by national politics, international politics, and the World of Sport, it becomes hard to imagine whether a majority of labs' Sample analyses, which show 'low positives', are 'falsely reporting negatives' that should, de facto be 'positives', or whether the opposite is true.

Standardization of laboratories does not mean, ipso facto, that all must have the same IRMS machine; it should mean that whichever IRMS machine, in all WADA labs, when given a Sample (for control/test purposes) in pristine condition, containing an identical concentration of, let's say Testosterone metabolites such as 5-alpha diol and 5-beta diol, ought to be able to identify those metabolites, and their concentrations, at the anticipated level (within scientifically-accepted, statistically acceptable norms: like 0.001 to 0.0001pc).

It does not mean that all labs should operate (within the variations of linguistic or legal necessity) with the identical Laboratory Chain of Custody (LCOC) form (wouldn't that be nice, though?); it does mean, however, that any legal evidence derived be acceptably sufficient, satisfying WADA (or higher) standards for disciplinary hearings. These are necessities, if the system is not to be perceived as a hodge-podge of 'don't touch my Science!' participants.

Is the Los Angeles laboratory, which ran over seven times as many Samples in 2008 (72,394 to 10,194) and found 'AAF Findings', at a rate over seven times less frequently, (0.64pc to 4.98pc) as did the AFLD lab, a much 'better lab'? Could it be 'full of deceit', and 'aiding Athletes to cheat'? Not likely, is this author's opinion.

Is a perfect laboratory at some median level in between these two 'extremes'? Are they 'Standardized'? WADAwatch certainly cannot answer the dilemma this question provokes.

It can only pose the questions... and salute the true fact: cheating Athletes (rather 'doping Athletes': cheaters still exist, for 'handballs' that allow a trip to the World Cup, or 'betting scandals' that are ricocheting across European football (soccer) leagues) are, evidently, barely one percent of the total (okay: Athletes who are elite enough to reside 'within the international anti-doping system', and using Substances (or Methods) detectable under today's testing/analysis environment) at 1.08pc (1.84pc by adding in the 'premature' AF numbers). That's a far cry from the 'mob mentality' which claims 'they're all doped!'. And it does ignore the 'migration' by doping Athletes, into medical substances that have yet to be prohibited.

It is in the best interests of Sport: as a joy, as a business, a spectacle or a career, that this progress is acknowledged as a fact.

WADA should not mask its successes under statistics that seem to imply promotion of the inverse.

To be continued... "And..... action!"

..........@......... WADAWATCH
one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Just a tribute to John F Kennedy

This post is now a simple memorial to John F Kennedy, having served its previous purpose. Sunday, 22 November.

In grateful Memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

To be continued.... "And.... action!"

..........@......... WADAWATCH
one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

The Beau-jo (Lab stats) Nouveau est arrivée

[Edited twice to reformulate our own massive math errors, from
cross-references to 'Olympic' or 'Overall' statistics: we'll
accept any offers of editing on math... and to discuss Footnote 2 Ww]

On request from a correspondent, WADAwatch is thinking about 'Atypical Findings', that bear influence in WADA's 2008 Laboratory Statistics Report...

From the Laboratory Statistics Report 2008:

Atypical Finding” is defined in the World Anti-Doping Code as “a report from a laboratory or other WADA-approved entity which requires further investigation as provided by the International Standard for Laboratories or related Technical Documents prior to the determination of an Adverse Analytical Finding.” Atypical Findings may correspond to multiple measurements performed on the same Athlete, such as in longitudinal studies on testosterone.

Legally, there seems to be no justification for any inclusion of 'Atypical Findings' within that 2008 Report, for the simple reason that 'Atypical Findings' were never a part of the 2004 International Standards for Laboratories (ISL).

As the ISL 2009 and Code 2009 first took effect in January 2009, one would think two alternatives were pertinently apt: a) that WADA would include a footnote in the Lab Report cited above, which offers its reasoning for inclusion of a statistical measurements that isn't legally in force; b) that the inclusion of AF statistics would not appear before the Lab Report 2009, which of course will be issued in the fourth quarter of 2010.

But that procedural anomoly ignores the series of deeper, substantive problems that lay within the 'Definition' itself. And these go to our least favourite WADA problem, recurring regularly within its legal Documents: the language.

There is first one term that grates our senses, being this:

... a report from a laboratory or other WADA-approved entity...”

There are thousands of laboratories around the world, and there are 33 (currently) WADA-accredited laboratories. So we have no rational reason for this ambiguous drafting WADA 'carefully' chose to make official. It would have been so easy, and preferable, to write and approve the following:

... a report from any of the current WADA-accredited
or such entities as receive ad hoc or official
approval from WADA for the specific time period or event
, which...

Beware, Athletes under WADA's guidance: there's more 'judicial interpretation' en route, which is liable to expand your legal costs resulting from any CAS, NADO or Federation disciplinary procedures against you, if the Atypical Finding 'definition' is a factor in your case. We've chosen to 'bracket' the 'definition', because we spent a good part of this weekend trying to really define what 'IS' an AF.

We still don't 'know'...

The 2009 Code Definition, which you see above, incorporates the 2009 ISL 'definition': they are identical. That means, by reference from the Code, inquisitive Athletes or others (people that are bored on a Sunday afternoon?), are constrained to 'follow the breadcrumbs'. Since the wording of each 'definition' is identical, all we know is that an AF equals 'a report'... we aren't yet aware of the basis for that 'Atypical' status. The researcher seeks the Tech Docs, therefore, to elucidate the Code and ISL Definitions.

The WADA system has nine downloadable Tech Docs (two of which actually take effect in five weeks: 1 January 2010): they are all listed here. Another one, listed twice, will be superseded on 1 January, as well. The Tech Docs are listed (here) in two sets: those which mention 'Atypical' and those without mention (each set, in chronological order of first 'in force' date):

  • TD2009LDC (January 01, 2009: on laboratory documentation packages for AAF cases):

this TDC only mentions Atypical Findings in the sense that a the LDC provides a 'summary table... [with] criteria utilized to identify and/or quantitate the target substance(s) to report [an AAF or AF];

  • TD2009EPO (September 21, 2009: on harmonization of the method for the identification of recombinant erythropoietins (i.e. Epoetins) and analogues (e.g. Darbepoetin and Methoxypolyethylene glycol-epoetin beta)):

this document only mentions “... may ... be an atypical profile (shifted towards the basic area) ... additional scientific evidence may be needed to arrive at a final conclusion.” (although that continues, suggesting complementary processes to “... confirm the exogenous or endogenous origin of the finding.”).

  • TD2009MPRL (January 1, 2010: on Minimum Required Performance Levels for detection of Prohibited Substances):

the three-page document concludes with this catch-all phrase “At any time relevant anti-doping organizations may conduct any additional investigations as they deem appropriate in assessing an atypical sample.

  • TD2009NA (January 01, 2010: Harmonization of analysis and reporting of 19-norsteroids related to nandralone):

this document states: “If the Sample does meet one of the conditions discussed in sections 3.3 and 3.4 below, then it shall be reported as an Atypical Finding and both the Testing Authority and WADA shall be notified of the results as a comment in the test report.

As the following TD have no reference to the word 'atypical' they are merely listed by title:

  • TD2003IDCR (January 1, 2004: Identification criteria for qualitative assays incorporating chromatography and mass spectometry);

  • TD2004EAAS (August 13, 2004: Reporting and evaluation guidance for testosterone, epitestosterone, T/E ratio and other endogenous steroids);

  • TD2004NA (August 13, 2004: will be superseded by above 2009NA, with title change (above includes “19-norsteroids related to” ));

  • TD2009MRPL (January 01, 2009: will be superseded by above TD2009MRPL);

  • TD2009LCOC (January 01, 2009: Laboratory Internal Chain of Custody).

Now we remind our audience we're still trying to find out what 'IS' an 'Atypical Finding'.

Frankly, answering that question is only clear, if we are asked what an AF is for 19-norsteroids related to nandralone, next year. Sections 3.3 reminds us of female subject protocols, and §3.4 discusses 'unstable urine' Samples. The AF would relate to findings for women, or when the Sample shows signs of instability. So an AF in NA is related to either pregnant woman (presuming our readers actually refer to the provided TD links), or unstable urine samples. This opens a door, when someone delays or poorly packages a Urine Sample for transport, that an Athlete could be found 'Atypical', and then 'positive', if the Laboratory refuses or ignores (or never receives) evidence of bad transport.

One is absolutely left in wonder, legally, at the realization that an AF may be just what any lab director wants it to be, based on the catch-all phrase in the 2010-effective Tech Doc on Minimum Required Performance Levels: most of the other Tech Docs do not add any coherent (and consistent!) definition, which should be complete and identical to those in both the WADC or ISL. Notably, however, the TechDoc on Measurement Uncertainty leaves 'AFs' undefined.

With such a legal dilemma, procedurally and substantively, we now can turn to the 2008 Lab Statistical Report, and look at the precocious inclusion of this data.

We've written before about the 'growth industry' aspects of anti-doping control, assuring our readers that we recognize that fact's validity, and still hoping that WADA goes 'black and white' as to the control of laboratories, NADOs and/or Anti-doping Agencies. The first statistic shown, defines that growth: 'Olympic Sports testing' grew at 15.8pc, while 'non-Olympic Sports testing' grew at 46.8pc, providing an overall industry progression of 22.7pc (actual 'A Sample analyses' hit the global sum of 274,615).

Of the 202,067 Olympic Sports A Samples analyzed, there were 1,974 AAFs, yet a total of 3,715 'findings' were counted. This is claimed to be an increase of 10.1pc in findings from 2007. However, the associated footnote reminds, under the column comparing 2008 to 2007, that the AF stats are included.

However, astute researchers find that AF, per se, are not included in the 2007 Report (whether they should actually be in the 2008 report, as they were not a legally-supported item until 'in force', remains on the table). A second footnote (FN 2), also reminds us in the 2008 Statistics Report, that it shows 2003-2007 AAF numbers, which 'include findings that are defined in the 2008 Report as Atypical Findings'. This becomes so very disconcerting: could someone at WADA please inform Athletes when an AAF IS an AAF, and when an AAF is NOT an AAF? What their legal bases are, for acting as nonchalantly as they appear in this report, are not those for which a Quigley-Rule-based CAS Panel would express its admiration.

One thinks that WADA Signatories would request finite conclusions, finite inclusions, in the official reports that are 'signed-off' by the Secretariat for publication, and we wonder how anyone would ever know if their previous
AAF was legally invalid, based on footnote text from WADA found in this report? Last point... if 'some' pre-2008 (actually pre-2009, but it's WADA in the driver's seat on this legal SNAFU) AAF actually were AF, but preceded any legal obligation to be announced as AF, does WADA have a legal and moral obligation to assign numbers (quantitative) to the assertion in FN 2? Does WADA want the world to know, or not, if Athletes were prosecuted (persecuted?) by false AAF?

It thus appears that WADA is claiming a 15pc growth in total findings, only justifiable when including the 2008 AF numbers. Overall, there were 2,956 AAF in 2008, with 5,o61 'findings'. In the 2007 Lab Report, there were 4,402 AAF. Now we presume there is a rational reason for WADA's assertion of 'growth', yet 2956/4402 presents a different ratio to this bad mathematician.

We believe, on this singular 'global' statistic, that it is more realistic to state that AAF went down, in 2008, by a factor of nearly 32pc. And if we concede WADA's inclusion of the precocious AF statistics (obviously the numbers are 5,061 – 2,956 = 2,105 AF), we find a claim of '15pc growth from 2007' that truly reflects (in the 'global' sense') odd logic: we see premature inclusion of a legally-unfounded component, provoking odd, 'new-math' conclusions. By inclusion of the legally-unfounded AF component, the stats work as WADA claims. Without AF in the equation, the reduction in AAF is obvious. And WADA should be trumpeting its efforts.

As a percentage of total testing, the 'facts' seem to prove that WADA is being effective, even though its mathematical conclusions tend to show the opposite: why is this, or where is our math analysis wrong? In 2008, AAF percentages 'overall' were 1.08pc of all A Samples. Including the AF component, we have 1.84pc. In 2007, the annual Lab Report, regarding AAF stats, offers 1.97pc (?=?). From a 2007 level of roughly 2pc, the AAF number has nearly been cut in half, and inclusion of AF renders a five percent drop. Yet FN 2 destroys any analytical comparisons, in our view.

If the 'numbers' don't lie, conclusions flock into WADAwatch's cogitative center. Are the Athletes, as is usually claimed, slipping away from Laboratory analysis due to ever-newer medications, some even not out of Phase II clinical trials (as we reported via AFLD's claim in Le Monde: see AFLD Steps Up a Notch)? Or are they 'cleaner' (but 'Atypical'??)? Wouldn't WADA want the Athletes to receive Kudos for cleaning up their sports?

Is there a justification for examining, as Pierre Bordry suggested to WADA president John Fahey, The limits of classic antidopage controls, in the face of the growing sophistication of doping activities...? We would agree, in questioning the continuous preoccupation with end users, instead of attacking the traffickers of these boutique products. If an Athlete is receiving a Phase II Clinical Trial product, which are not yet on the publicly-available market, are not yet subject to WADA-approved (or Nature-approved, or JAMA, etc., for that matter) laboratory analyses, the focus should be on the Pharmaceutical Industry, and their sports-fan research staff driving Maseratis (non?).

When a country's authorities (police, border/Customs agents) bust some smuggler with 4kilos of Afghani hashish, heroin or Peruvian cocaine, they deprive a portion of the 'end market' with a percentage of available 'stock'. The market, which in sports doping ends at the Athlete, begins 'far far away'.

So, for once in WADAwatch's existence, we could find ourselves agreeing with Monsieur Bordry, that WADA should be re-prioritizing, re-focussing a portion of its fight. And improving, or clarifying its mathematical analysis of its family's performance that equates with our vision of (minimalist at that) Reality in Statistics... which parallels our focus on the 'Beauty of Science.'

To be continued.... "And.... action!"

..........@......... WADAWATCH
one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A Belated WADAnniversary present...

[the text of this blog-post has been edited, with this colour]

On November 10, 1999... well, let us quote the 'new' WADA web page itself:

The IOC took the initiative and convened the Firts World Conference on Doping in Sport in Lausanne in February 1999.

Some four years later, the WADA Code (sometimes known as 'WADC': signed in 2003, with legal effect January 1, 2004) came into force, and in 2007 it was revised and updated, with the foremost idea (fresh, no doubt, from the legal 'complications' that derived from the Floyd Landis case (of which any reader of this blog is well aware: USADA and WADA spent over five million dollars to procure two 'guilty' awards via the private system of legal arbitration that oversees doping cases)) to make doping penalties longer, to make 'convictions' easier, to add a matrix of penalties that seem to add confusion (thus legal expenses?) to any appeal, and to add the undefined 'Aggravating Circumstances' clause.

So WADAwatch honours this occasion (belatedly, due to post-production delays), in a very special way: we have created our first VIDEO-report, under the new name...

That's one of the titles, above... and the actual show appears below (with fingers crossed for !).
(requested consultations from Tom Brokaw, Clint Eastwood, and Stanley Kubrick received no replies... (satire Mode OFF))

Our inaugural show strives to compare the 'strongly dispatched, widely distributed' AFLD allegations, brought in early October, against the UCI, and its late-October response regarding its Tour de France anti-doping efforts. By insinuation, the French media, led by reporter/journalist Stéphane Mandard, created a polemic concerning the team ASTANA, and Plucky Pierre Bordry's personal 'bête noire', Lance Armstrong.

In response, the late-October UCI reply/report was curiously, quietly received outside the dedicated cycling-sports journalism world. And thus WADAwatch charges into that void, offering UCI some small component of 'equal time' by generating our own program.

The report offered by UCI, which we first analyzed at this previous post (Cycling War II: the UCI shows its honour ), offers substantive responses and puts forth damning claims against the AFLD, which apparently is the only NADO (National Anti-Doping Organization) that seeks to disrupt the world in which its efforts are received. Pierre Bordry, who stands alone amongst anti-doping publicity-mongerers, is the Directeur whose words seem to provoke a need to understand how WADA intends to bring the concept of compliance into the forefront of the battle(s) it wages...

But 'we' at WADAwatch believe a great many readers would rather watch an online video than to read the long, legally-oriented 'briefs' that we dispatch from this blog.

We hope you find it entertaining, truthful, and with a sufficiently-necessary impact, and we look forward to providing more, from our series of video-pieces to come.

To be continued.... "And.... action!"

..........@......... WADAWATCH
one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Monday, 2 November 2009

Cycling War II: the UCI shows its honour

The UCI has responded to the AFLD report (a report which has never been published on its web site by the accusing French Agency) with a fact-based series of observations that stimulate the thought, previously expressed here at WADAwatch, that there is an agenda at AFLD.

WADAwatch notes an interesting presse communiqué dated 30 October, 2009, from the AFLD
web site. It's text was short:

L’AFLD a pris connaissance des réponses de l’UCI à son rapport sur le Tour de France 2009.

Elle remettra des observations détaillées sur les réponses de l’UCI au Ministre chargé des sports, à l’UCI et à l’Agence mondiale antidopage. D’ici là, elle s’abstiendra de tout commentaire public sur ces questions.

Our in-house translation:

The AFLD has taken note of the responses from the UCI regarding its report on the Tour de France 2009.

[The Agency] will submit detailed observations on the UCI responses to the Ministry controlling Sports, to the UCI and to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Until then, [the Agency] will abstain from all public commentary on these questions.

Before analyzing the confident observations emitted by the UCI, one should note that it is interesting to find the AFLD has now found it 'sage' to withhold premature public commentary. That distinction wasn't evident when it engaged the shrill pen of Stéphane Mandard to write his series of biased, and immature articles in Le Monde, regarding Plucky Pierre's rages against cycling.

One should also hope that the French Secretary of Sport, Rama Yade, draws up a list of questions that call into question the competence, and continued support, through which Pierre Bordry sustains his prominent, if not illustrious, career as head of the Agence française pour le lutte contre le dopage. She has been quoted as 'demanding responses' from the UCI, and 'hoping for a rapprochement' between the French Agency, and the UCI, especially as to future collaboration.

But Yade's priorities may now be leaning towards hoping that the UCI would consider collaborating with such a treacherous 'partner' in the future. And, with a career pharmacist as Minister of Health and Sport, in the person of Mme Rosalyne Bachelot, one can wonder how long the maintenance of AFLD as a 'monopoly anti-doping agency' can exist.

A second recent communiqué from AFLD discussing a recent French meeting, between Plucky Pierre and WADA President John Fahey. In short summary, those issues, which appear to have
not been specifically oriented towards this Cycling War II, are:

  • The evolution of respective competences of the International Federations and the NADO, and the research of a new equilibrium;
  • The support of demands by NADOs addressed to IFs once they have a possibility to effect additional controls;
  • The limits of classic antidopage controls, in the face of the growing sophistication of doping activities, which situation incites recourse towards complementary procedures of a judicial nature, and with closer collaboration with Customs and police Officials.

Interestingly, the 'general' nature of those 'discussion points' run in strict parallel with the leaked AFLD 'findings', of which we now have the UCI response (a 12p report on-line since the weekend), to the mystery AFLD report (evidently the only thing that Bordry and Le Monde refrained from publishing).

The UCI response offered an anticipated disappointment - that the AFLD has degenerated once again - and catalogues the IFs that are not using AFLD's 'services' at this date (without naming them, although clues are attached: we know that one is the ITF for tennis, and are guessing another might be the Fédération internationale de ski, whose World Championships were in Val d'Isère last February; we won't guess if that is the second or third listed example). But take it from the source:

[...] the UCI is aware of at least three other major International Federations who have experienced significant problems working with AFLD. One International Federation now arranges sample collection and analysis of samples by parties outside of France for its premier event on French soil; another International Federation had to severely reprimand AFLD for failing to conduct sufficient tests on the French national team members before a major World Championships in 2009. Yet another International Federation experienced the same breakdown of anonymity of a sample sent to the laboratory with the athlete’s name included.

UCI's report writer (who Ww congratulates for her or his objectivity) starts by noting the concept of 'partnership':

A relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, for the achievement of a specified goal.

The only component missing would have been a citation to the WADC, Article 20.5.2, as we had written two weeks ago:
To cooperate with other relevant national organizations and agencies and other Anti–Doping Organizations. It is evident from reading these 12 pages, that the UCI has a long history of 'AFLD stories'.

Start with the comment that the AFLD had requested information so that it could carry out 'extensive pre-Tour testing':

On 14 May 2009, Mr Bordry and some of his staff members met with the UCI and ASO in Aigle. AFLD and ASO expressed a desire to conduct a large number of targeted out-of-competition tests in the six weeks before the Tour de France. We agreed to provide AFLD with whereabouts information of teams who were training in France during this time. This was to enable AFLD to conduct the large scale out-of-competition testing that they considered necessary. By the start of the Tour, UCI had conducted 190 out-of competition tests on riders short listed for the Tour, while AFLD had conducted 13 tests. Of these, 6 were on French riders whom they have access to test all year round.

Sacré bleu, Pierre!

Where, between all the press conferences and your constant 24/7 tracking of Lance Armstrong, did you find the time to send your staff out to test seven foreign riders on French soil (in two months)?! The UCI commentary that six of those thirteen tested riders were "... French... whom they have access to all year round." seems compelling evidence that, as one once said about GW Bush (and as is said about half of the Western-clothing-wearing transplanted 'ranchers' to Texas), Plucky Pierre is...

'All Hat No Cattle'

The UCI response reminds us, that in the two months in which AFLD took to 'verify' and publish it's 'J'Accuse!' report, it failed to remind itself that the Tour was in Barcelona on 9 July, not the 7th.

It reminds readers that UCI was accused of 'speaking of forthcoming tests in public in a loud voice (we are not aware of the specificity with which AFLD cast that observation)', and responds in saying that "... on the night of 9 July
[Ww: not the 7th], the UCI DCOs shared a dinner table with UCI race commissaires and did not discuss their anti-doping activities at all."

(Maybe the AFLD staff were not at the next table?)

The UCI response recalls AFLD allegations that 'chaperones were not used for early morning blood tests', while the UCI asserts that its standard procedure mimics those of 'team sports', where the Team Manager (or director, coach: responsible) is notified, commenting that if you have to do 200 tests in one morning, it's not efficient to have individual notification. Sadly, AFLD didn't seem aware of that possibility, and Ww suggests that more collaborative relations would rendered
moot the 'point' raised by AFLD's accusations.

The UCI presents its own allegations, in several places. It responds to the comment regarding no chaperones on 11 July, by stating that there were fears in the UCI contingent that there could be leaks from the AFLD chaperones regarding which riders would be chosen, and a more simple explanation: "because the chaperones were lodged a long way away from the hotels at which testing would occur." Maybe the AFLD report should have faulted ASO for assigning lodgings so far from its work zone? Hmmmmm...

Another day AFLD chose for this type of complaint, was the Team Time Trial stage, and (we were not aware of this competence) due to the fact that UCI DCOs also are fully-vested Race Commissaires, and their presence was required and fulfilled to ensure a proper race control. The UCI did acknowledge one of its DCOs informed one team director about an upcoming control, and that this was originated only five minutes before that stage ended, in the effort to make sure the director knew to look for the AFLD chaperone. UCI discussed this seeming 'impropriety' with that DCO, and takes the stance that such information 'was not a necessity', and thus is preferable to avoid. Hardly seems, as one instance out of some 700 to 800, to require the cry of 'scandal!' that AFLD's initial acts of war generated.

SIDEBAR: The AFLD six-months' activity report, of which WADAwatch posted a summary here, discussed a total of 537 samples being submitted (185 urine and 352 blood samples, of which 180 from the start of the race) by the riders: in the UCI response, the number cited was 762 (185 urine samples, 246 blood samples and 331 'biological passport samples').

Has anyone noticed the discrepancies in these variously-published numbers? Are we missing some 106 blood samples? One would think the numbers, of anything, could match between these two control-oriented bodies...

The points
in the UCI response continue ad infinitum, and we encourage the faithful to read that report, linked here (again). We prefer to use our independent (and under-funded) status to offer a series of quotes that the UCI offers, regarding the unprofessionalism of the AFLD report, and its manner of publication to the press, prior to receipt by this fellow WADC Signatory and WADA itself. A long page-worth of extracts follow:

The role of the AFLD according to the agreement was modest. In short, they provided the doctors to assist our Doping Control Officers.

The AFLD’s unilateral decision to conduct an informal observer programme, with the unfortunate result of an untimely, incomplete, misinformed and inaccurate report is puzzling and disappointing. It calls into question the motives of AFLD.

Most importantly, a true partner in the fight against doping in sport does not take actions which may substantially undermine athlete and public confidence in the harmonisation of the international anti-doping effort.


One of the gravest and most unfounded of AFLD’s assertions relates to favourable treatment given to Astana riders. This was an issue which was raised by the AFLD during the Tour in mid July. President Pat McQuaid investigated this issue immediately upon becoming aware of it during the Tour and responded in detail to Mr Bordry. The fact that he raises the issue again shows his complete disregard for the facts and the partnership.


Astana riders, who comprised 5% of the total number of participants, were subjected to 81 antidoping tests, or over 10% of the total tests conducted. In fact the top individual Astana riders received more than three times the number of tests of most other riders in the race.


Before responding in detail to the public assertions made by the AFLD against UCI staff, the UCI wants to make two things clear. Firstly, these sort of unfounded criticisms should not be raised in public.


However, with the UCI’s reputation already shattered by Mr Bordry’s actions and rhetoric, there is no recourse but to set the record straight in the UCI’s correction of his mischievous and misinformed statements.


Secondly, it is important for everyone to understand that AFLD is far from perfect in the implementation of their own anti-doping activities. The common saying which seems relevant here is “people in glass houses should not throw stones”.


... five [Ww: of the six tests carried out on French riders, all from the same team, all on the same day] were declared invalid [Ww: due to improperly labelling (by AFLD) of the sample containers with “full names and details”] makes us question the competence of the AFLD and their authority to point the finger at others.


The leakage of highly confidential anti-doping information from French authorities is well known in anti-doping circles and UCI has experienced this for many years. This may be a structural deficiency in that AFLD encompasses both the testing department and the laboratory, which it openly refers to as its analysis department. Even as recently as the 2009 Tour de France, the UCI continued to suffer from a lack of confidentiality from AFLD. As an example, immediately following an early morning blood test, an AFLD staff member informed a representative of ASO, the race organiser, about issues relating to one particular rider and his sample provision.

The UCI did not make this public.
The UCI did not put AFLD in the pillory over this.
(Ww: emphasis added)


In addition to matters arising from the Tour de France, on 8 June 2009, the UCI President had previously written to Mr Bordry expressing concern over the unreliable manner in which AFLD doctors were undertaking their role at UCI events. These concerns were mostly related to AFLD doctors simply not attending races to which they had been assigned or to giving riders completely incorrect instructions about the nature of their sample provision. Several UCI international races went without adequate doping control because of the failure of AFLD to fulfil their commitment to the French Cycling Federation and the UCI to send doctors to conduct testing.

It serves now, to recall that WADA has a problem with non-compliance from Signatories, and this has evolved into a systemic problem: Italian Football leagues misunderstand rules-implementation, small IFs have not the funding to perform out-of-competition testing as required, a certain country has been known to arrest DCO on official sample collection trips, and confiscate duly-acquired samples... and now we seem to read that a Agency head has acted in such a way as to have the 'victim' IF wondering what possible motivations exist?

And thus, by the benefit of AFLD trying to accuse the UCI of 'malingering' in its duties, we spot evidence that it may, in fact, be the accuser, AFLD, who should stand at the Bar', facing the first-ever WADA 'Compliance Investigation'... or would Bordry be forced to stand down, and resign from the AFLD director's chair?

What outcome from WADA, would result from the unprofessionally-dispersed allegations publicized by the AFLD, and its analysis of these proper UCI response(s)?

This is a separate issue from the 'Case of the Medical Waste', in which one hopes the 'DNA evidence' that comes out, goes as far as to investigate any fingerprints found on the material itself: after all, one of the parties that became aware of this case, has full access to riders' blood and urine samples, and could easily plant such damning 'evidence' on materials that were collected from who-knows-where, and introduced as potentially incriminating evidence.

Mr Fahey, whose visit to France wasn't (highly) published until the AFLD published its communiqué, may have also visited the UCI while on the Continent. WADAwatch would hope that to be the case. And WADAwatch does not see the need for WADA to conduct an 'open trial' of Bordry... there are times when political discretion can achieve more, especially when superiors, or former superiors of someone like Bordry would show lingering regrets for the publicity that has attached to this boding situation.

Fahey may have to call in the services of someone like Hans Blix, world-renowned legal
'weapons investigator' authority, whose competent services in Iraq were acknowledged by all the world, other than the US administration of Dick Cheney and GW Bush.

Chère Madame la Secrétaire Rama Yade,
on serait ravi d'entendre que
vous en avez eu assez ;
le temps pour une décision est maintenant :
quel avenir pour l'AFLD?

[Dear Mme Secretary Rama Yade,
we would be happy to hear that
you've had enough;
the time for a decision is now:
what future for the AFLD?]

To be continued....

one hundred percent pure

copyright 2009 Ww

Add to Technorati Favorites