Monday, 29 June 2009

Deux Canards Laqués

Watching France TV 2 last night, and the interview with Michel Drucker, reminds one that not all of the French people, nor its media icons, are rabid Anti-Lance Armstrong anti-fans... and we'll post more about that later this week... but a sufficient remark would include the pleasure at watching expressions of gratitude for what Lance did for the WORLD of cycling... whose epicenter is the Tour de France (Saturday!)

Is le Président de la République de la France, Nicolas Sarkozy, Lance Armstrong's “Biggest (ahem) fan” in France?

Reading the latest issue of the French satiric weekly Le Canard Enchaîné (issue N° 4626; June 24, 2009: NB: Le Canard has no comparable web-site to its eight-page weekly print edition, so links are not available)), on the eve of the 2009 Tour de France (which starts on Saturday, 4 July 2009, from Monaco), one finds additional data (or pseudo–facts) and opinions regarding the tragi–comic story featuring Lance Armstrong, the French media and seven Tours de France.

Lance offered comments earlier this year, indicating some trepidation as to any reactions from French cycling fans, while he returned to the routes of le Tour. He probably was much more aware than the average international cycling fan, of the rancid flavours added to his legacy, by most of the French press, and its ability to weave insinuations and innuendos into perfect insinuendo, regarding historic events that emanated from the French National Laboratoire: LNDD, in 2005. Insinuendos that can only serve to dissimulate known, unproven rumours as anti–Lance–in–France propaganda. Should Lance worry? We think not, at WADAwatch.

Our enjoyment of the journal Le Canard Enchaîné, for its weekly assortment of acerbic denunciations of French governmental shenanigans, allows us to wonder from which quarter, by whose 'connections', it came to decide in favour of publishing a 'Part Deux' to its earlier article, which WADAwatch covered in February, denouncing a supposed repression of the work of Damion Ressiot of L'Equipe. We believe that the LCE is much more trustworthy, when not focused on sport.

SIDEBAR: President Sarkozy announced on Wednesday, his long–anticipated reshuffling of his Ministerial cabinet posts. One very interesting development, is to have named Rama Yade, his outstanding Human Rights Minister under Bernard Kouchner (A 'post' that was suppressed, the Human Rights topic reverting back into Kouchner's domain as Foreign Minister) to replace Bernard Laporte, whose two year stint as Sports Minister was most noteworthy for (?)... nothing at all.

In brief review, the February article penned by Jérôme Canard 'told' French readers that the group Amaury Editions, which owns both the Amaury Sport Organization (organizers of le Tour, also the Paris–Dakar rally and many other lucrative sports events), as well as the French daily sporting journal L'Equipe (and daily paper Le Parisien), had 'stifled' Ressiot et al on the sulphurous subject of doping in cycling. Following the links (above) will reacquaint our readers with the situation as of February; other articles from our sister blog crystelZENmud (in right–hand column) may offer further insights.

Coming back to this week's story: Le Canard Enchaîné (hereafter 'LCE') describes Sarkozy's admiration and warnings about Armstrong (his remarkable comeback and unprecedented streak of seven victories; if related to 'pills' (sic), 'en garde!'...), as published in an article in L'Equipe over two years ago (March 2007). The quotations from Sarkozy end with a curious viewpoint by Monsieur le président (Ww translation):

But wait, if there is a pill, it must be given to me! Myself, I'm combating 'the doping', however one cannot reduce Lance Armstrong to this singular dimension.

[One wonders if by saying that, Sarko brought up his sage perception of the many faceted usages of media coverage: by sports people, politicians, and any whose profits increase through manipulation thereof... one also is left to ponder whether Sarko wants to take a 'miracle drug' (Carla?), or 'seeks evidence', by his prior sentence...]

This week's article, authored by Jean–François Julliard, passes from presumption to promotion in recalling for French readers, how 'Armstrong was convicted' (convaincu) in 2005 for EPO evidence found in his frozen 1999 Samples. No mention of (Director of the Montreal Lab) Dr Alyotte's contemporaneous comments regarding the long–term instability of EPO in frozen urine, no mention of the Helsinki Convention (affording ALL donors of medical research samples a right of total confidentiality: Armstrong earned this once his A Samples were controlled and reported negative), no mention of the Vrijman report (over one hundred pages; discussing the ill–conceived LNDD 'research project' which resulted in the scurrilous L'Equipe article).

Curiously, Julliard ends his first paragraph by insinuating about Armstrong, that this was an:

“(...) accusation of trickery that the interested (party) didn't dare to contest before the French Tribunal(s)...”

SIDEBAR TWO: Cher Jean–François: are you suggesting that a retiring champion cyclist, who was smeared by the very organization that had just bestowed (for the seventh year running) over 600 thousand Euros in prize money, should actually hire an attorney (à la Landis) to contest, in French courts, that which the UCI investigated quite thoroughly, and upon its own budget? Obviously, mon cher, you really should read the Vrijman report again... and ask why LNDD, AFLD and the French Ministry refused to answer Vrijman's follow–up questions?

(NB: Vrijman was the Dutch attorney who once headed the Netherlands' Anti–doping Agency... and remains lively in anti–doping sports law issues)

(Personal ZENmud productions photo (c) 1999-2009)

The LCE article raises contentions by 'noted' cycling journalists Pierre Ballester and David Walsh (perhaps the 'Kitty Kelly's' of the cycling world?), whose 'truths' may be irrelevant to today's real world. They claimed in a recent work: “Le Sale Tour” (en France) that Armstrong confessed having taken, in 1996 (note that date) “EPO, growth hormones, cortisone, steroids and testosterone...”, especially to his team of oncologists in Indianapolis.

WADAwatch discerns three intrinsic points, if we are to take as 'gospel' the statements from Armstrong, as reported by one of his most profitable detractors.

The first observation is, that whatever Armstrong took or didn't take in 1996, has nothing to do with a 2005 analysis of 1999 B Samples stored without perfect chain–of–possession documentation, and 'traced' back to the donor (Lance) in violation of the Helsinki Convention. So it appears disingenuous of author Julliard to discuss this first 'insinuendo'.

Secondly, and most strikingly in Armstrong's favour (we believe), is a comparison of Armstrong's weights, pre–and post–cancer. If we can take it for granted that someone using growth hormones, testosterone and steroids (à la weightlifters or US Football linemen(??)), actually would grow, it corrolates with our knowledge that, as a 23 year–old World Cycling Champion and former triathlete, his weight was up some 7 kilos or so prior to his diagnosis, surgery and treatments.

Armstrong's weight dropped through his illness and post–operative chemotherapy sessions; when he resumed racing for US Postal (French team Cofidis having rewarded Armstrong's cancer announcement with a cancelling of his contract) his body had 'morphed' into a sleeker form...

(Personal ZENmud productions photo (c) 1999-2009)

Such weight loss was presumably a logical process, either through both his chemotherapy, etc., and/or if through the termination of his alleged pre–cancer doping program, and he never went back 'up' to that weight during his seven year victory-streak.

IF Armstrong began doping again, would he not have gained back more weight than he did? (You 'devil's advocates' could say “only if he resumed using the panoply of products he'd used in his 'previous pro life'...”) There are side effects with Testosterone and Steroids, after all...

The third point, and merely procedural at that, is this: in 1999, 'WADA' was only a glimmer in the eye of its righteous birth 'mother' – the International Olympic Committee. Any 'evidence' collected by the French LNDD laboratoire, was done so under UCI rules. If an inherently unstable compound is 'frozen' (power outages? Freezers unplugged for annual maintenance (cleaning)?) for five years, shouldn't any reputable lab seek to research 'long term EPO stability in retained frozen urine Samples', and publish those scientifically-derived results for peer review, prior to insisting it has the legal competence to shout out loud, to all the world, 'results' from B Sample materials whose A Samples were declared Negative six years earlier? if this was done, it's unknown to the medical universe; if it was NOT done, it seems to be a violation of medical-science ethics: this was a point hammered throughout the Vrijman report. (we won't dwell on the boring yet vital argument that a 'B Sample' cannot be converted, through time and the advancement of science, into an 'A Sample': an Athlete is controlled, his or her 'sample' is divided into 'A' and 'B' in front of their eyes, and they sign documents attesting that all was done according to regulations... there's more, but serious readers already have read that argument here time and again... sigh)

(Personal ZENmud productions photo (c) 1999-2009)

We again observe, that M. Julliard had not referred to a strong article written in ASO's publication Vélo magazine, for which crystelZENmud had published (in early 2008) a laborious translation into English; that Vélo Magazine article could, perhaps, be the last positive, semi–scientific article published in France (and in French!) regarding his 'extraterrestrial activity' on a bike.

However, Julliard asks the very question we placed under 'point two' above: was Armstrong's return as 'an icon of cycling', and conquest, really the work of a detoxified cyclist, from his chemical smorgasbord past as witnessed in 1996 (alleged/reported by Ballester and Walsh)? Too bad Julliard doesn't seek explanations: apparently insinuendo is sufficient for this article. Julliard does point toward the four runners–up to Lance's last victory in 2005: all were later convicted, and suspended for two years, for a range of WADA CODE violations.

The next paragraph (in LCE) presents a totally slanted viewpoint: those four clumsy cyclists (due to being 'caught' apparently) should have followed Armstrong's example from March of 2009.

The inaccuracies outnumber veracities in each line: “Armstrong escaped” from the observation of the DCO (who was (and is) a licensed French Doctor); “claimed (to take a shower)” (WADAwatch hopes that French DCOs are at least competent enough to observe the tell–tale signs of recent immersion in hot water), and “returned with the Samples taken (hair, urine) away from the sight of the (DCO)”. How could Armstrong 'return' with a Urine Sample if that individual was waiting for (and with) Johan Bruyneel to confirm, via the UCI, his identification as a French DCO?

Nowhere in the common knowledge of that case, did either party claim “whilst waiting for UCI to confirm the AFLD–sent DCO's identity, Armstrong agreed to take the official Urine Sample contrainers off to the showers while Bruyneel sought confirmation.”. But that is in essence the claim presented by Julliard!

Not convinced we're portraying a French twist (Malignant at that...) to the article? Julliard offers a ready–made conclusion without proof:

This deceitfulness would have presented severe sanctions to any other sportsman.

Once again, we wish that Julliard had consulted the three WADAwatch articles regarding the AFLD 'announcement' of Lance's alleged AFLD Doping Control irregularities:

the AFLD-ermath... on Lance's test (10 April 2009)


Is WADA 'aiding and abetting' Lance? (14 April 2009)

and again:

AFLD-ermath redux: Lance unleashed.... (28 April 2009)

If Julliard had read those, he'd perhaps know why AFLD chose not to prosecute Armstrong, after an Italian Soccer player, Cherubin, was supported at the CAS, who confirmed his one–month suspension (by Italy's 'soccer court') in an action brought by WADA. WADA had sought therein a full, two–year suspension for Cherubin's very similar 'showering' 'evasion' situation...

One begins to wonder here, if Julliard is 'aiding and abetting' Damion Ressiot, who (thanks to Amaury Editions' edict) may now be leashed, no longer able to write his heart out, about le vilain Armstrong. What are les amis for, if not to publish that which your house won't allow anymore?

Julliard then claims that this 'dérobade' (departure from normal reaction) by AFLD as to Armstrong is due to a new 'secret agreement' between ASO and UCI, all according to authors Ballester and Walsh.

This is where the article gets interesting, relevant and 'deep'...

This 'secret agreement' allegedly contains some interesting quid pro quo situations.

ASO apparently 'watered down its wine' (French idiom, meaning to accept a lesser standard) regarding UCI's 'lax' rules... (Monsieur Julliard: les rules UCI are word–for–word verbatim copies of the worldwide WADA CODE, of which la France is (cough) a member in good standing), allowing the 'less rigorous' UCI testing methodologies to be employed, in return for access to lucrative 2014 Olympic TV contracts (for France) awarded to Amaury group, as well as management of future Olympic candidates' village dossiers. Whether from Julliard or Ballester/Walsh, the reader finds one name brought into the nexus of this 'rapprochement' between ASO and UCI, by LCE's author Julliard: Jean–Claude Killy.

Killy (who still doesn't remember skiing with Leo Lacroix and this author one day, in the early 1980s, on Vail Mountain, Colorado, with dwindling numbers of sales reps from the American operation for Skis Lacroix: by 11h00 we were four (J–C, Léo, Gary and moi) to finish the day... sigh...), we are reminded, holds a high position with the Amaury group, and remains a strong member of the International Olympic Committee.

Julliard reminds us of 'old news', how in the rapprochement, Patrice Clerc lost his post as president of ASO (and Julliard ignores the 'pro quo': the resignation at UCI of its vice–president Hein Verbruggen), although his wording ignores the old–news aspects, and implies this to be new 'news'.

The connotation is simple: doping had become a wedge issue, whose persistent prioritization by L'Equipe, non? was hurting business... and that the money was more important. Can we presume this from the facts as presented in LCE? Without being more forthright about how UCI could help ASO earn a ton o' cash, the connection remains presumptive,

Julliard, in wrapping the article, reminds us of LCE's prior article, which we summarized in February ( WADA – journalistic coup? ). As did the previous Canard author, Julliard forgets to reason through the bases for Madame Amaury's request for a different treatment of the doping news: D. Ressiot's forté was in publishing (unethically, if not illegally (in our Ww opinion), on conflict–of–interest grounds) “A Sample” results prematurely...

SIDEBAR THREE: remember that the WADA CODE (Articles 7.1/7.2 and 14.1.1–14.1.3) stipulates that one is to wait for an official announcement from the governing Federation, after the B Sample results offer confirmation of A Sample validity. Ressiot had the reputation of seemingly having a 'direct line' to the LNDD café–gossip zone, and had published several A Sample results, even one from Australia.

... Julliard then reminds his audience that France TV2 & 3, the two French public channels who cover le Tour, are not about to 'topple the boat' by discussing doping... This also seems odd, given the so–recent revelations from former TdF winner Laurent Fignon regarding his cancer, and 'dirty secrets' from his two victorious years in the Eighties. Fignon has been a FR TV Tour consultant for many years now: never once did he reveal his own dirty linens, prior to the very recent publication of his book, and resulting press releases and statements. 'Odd' also, simply because Julliard's contention seems to imply this back–peddling on doping is a new change for France TV.

Why didn't Jean–François Julliard write about a French 'doper'? One who was surely a role model for a young teenager from Texas, watching le Tour as he began his triathlon career? Perhaps a focus outward on Lance Armstrong is a means of reducing French audience attention on Fignon's predicament...?

The culminating pièce de résistance, however, is a survey mentioned by Julliard, which was apparently identical to the one mentioned in February's article. In February, LCE author 'Canard' mentioned that sponsors had taken a survey with revealing results: that viewers still enjoyed le Tour, but almost more for the doping stories than the sport itself (Ww compared this to the onset of gratuitous violence in North American Hockey in the 60s and 70s...).

Julliard claims, this week, that the survey proved that viewers watch le Tour for the scenery, more than the sport.

Mes amis!

Which is it? Are we watching le Tour to see cheating dopers on thrill–seeking, death–defying Alpine descents, zombie–ing through a three–hour vacation postcard, or the most unique sporting event on this Earth?

SIDEBAR FOUR: Afficianados of French TV may have watched FR2 on Sunday, 28 June, for Michel Drucker's interview with Lance Armstrong. (As noted above, we will offer a short summary of that in the near future...)


Whose agenda is served, when journalism from a respected weekly, (which 'terrorizes the Sarkozy administration once per week) whose insights and foci on French politics are outstandingly precise, presumes upon readers who have no choice but to believe that its cycling/doping content is up to those normal standards, when great swaths are painted through broad insinuendo brush strokes against 'le dopage Armstrong' in cycling? Its article would have certainly been more accurate, if only it had left out the name 'Armstrong' as human scapegoat for all its insinuations, in discussing ASO, Jean–Claude, FR TV2 & 3, and French TV rights for the Satchi Winter Games.

We know that the Astana team has surrounded its ostensible leader, Alberto Contador, with a bevy of English–speaking 'domestiques', who seem hand–picked to aid Armstrong, rather than Contador...

We know that Armstrong is racing without salary, to gain publicity for his humanistic anti–cancer foundation, and has already 'suffered' more than 30 anti–doping controls (most likely about 25 more than any other competitor, in a comparable period, from Europe or the USA)...

We know that AFLD 'classed' (did not pursue) L'Affaire Armstrong 2009', perhaps due to the CAS–Cherubin case having been decided prior to the AFLD decision not to prosecute...

We know his results in the Giro (Top 15 in GC, after a broken Clavicle) made no great revelations, and...

We know that Fignon has not (yet) been forced to relinquish his two Yellow Jerseys from les Quatrevingts (80s) , as le Tour/ASO did against Bjarne Riis last year...

We know none of this from Le Canard Enchaîné...

.Yo Armstrong! – enjoy your Tour de Lance... keep your eyes off the scenery...

NB: the last photo displayed above (as are the rest), come from a local historic race, A Travers Lausanne, which unfortunately has not proved viable in the post-Lance era (it is sometimes incorporated partially into the Tour de Romandie... sigh). The interesting point to make, is that I was laying half in the street, knowing that the riders, who came off of a right hand bend, would 'trail out' into the middle of the lane. Lance saw me, no doubts about it, and retained a line that went literally over my shoulder, with a smiling/grimace that made me know he understood media wherever, whoever it may be...


copyright 2009 Ww

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Surveying les French surveillance societés...

It is an interesting company: Kargus Consultants, the company that constructed the hacking transaction into the French laboratoire LNDD. A company offering industrial surveillance, according to, Kargus Consultants was founded on November 14, 2003: it has been out of business since October 22, 2007, only two weeks short of its fourth 'birthday'. Paying the price of its success?

Kargus Consultants indubitably provided the sole alleged 'hacker' – Alain Quiros – offering an info–tech commando squad that has made news for three prominent French 'hacking cases': the LNDD–'Landis' affair, the EDF–Greenpeace case, and one involving an activist French attorney (counsel to a French association of small–shareholders), not in that order. The French magazine Médiapart published a detailed article [Ww: controlled access], which was re–posted on the website/forum

The Mediapart authors wrote that they saw the dossier compiled by French Judge Cassuto. The dossier asserts that EDF commissioned the infiltration of Greenpeace, that the attorney's computer was hacked on behalf of Vivendi (corporation), and finally, the LNDD 'attack' leads down a trail back to Floyd Landis. By the way: in a Spyworld article, EDF [ED: with Google-translate available, WADAwatch will not often provide long translations] denied (as a corporation) ordering any hacking, however admits that one relevant contract was taken from one of its manager's office (thus implying it to be the act of a 'rogue manager'?) when searched by the 'authorities', and mentions some € 45K for these one or two contracts. EDF also reminds readers that a great amount of EDF 'security' comes from the French military, as protection of its 'nationally strategic' nuclear facilities. Normal for a 'company' that is owned eighty-seven per cent by the French 'State' (87pc).

One man really was the 'go–to' pivot man for the entirety of these 'affairs': Jean–François Dominguez. He brought 'the clients' to Kargus for each of these three affairs.

He was introduced to Quiros by the founder of Kargus (Thierry Lorho), during the early part of summer 2006, to receive instructions (and € 2,000.00) to commence the hack on the attorney's system. Both Dominguez and Lorho have ties to 'French secret service' agencies, although it is not presumed that they knew each other through those associations. It was Dominguez who had the 'slips of paper', which contained, for each case, an email address and list of 'keywords'... and Quiros claimed the actual work (against the Attorney) only took 'a few days'.

That payment seems to confirm the 'going rate' for Quiros' services, and matches the LNDD hacking charges... if true, those facts shoot down one of our WADAwatch theories, proposed in our earlier post, regarding hacking fees. Quiros also appears to be a perfectly successful amateur: this article claims Quiros taught himself 'hacking' (training was as a fireman!), and Mediapart/Linuxquimper quotes Quiros as saying the 'attorney hack' was his first 'illegal penetration' of a computer system.

Dominguez himself eloquently denied having Vivendi as a client: 'I do not know Vivendi, neither from close nor afar'... (what else would he say?) although Lorho confirmed his introduction of Dominguez to Quiros. Monsieur Dominguez is apparently an adventure–junkie: time spent in Iraq and other war zones, as photographer (with proof through published books) or as (.....), and appears, to have substantial ties to the French Secret Service(s). His former employment includes years as a Legionnaire, and various French security companies.

Turning to the LNDD case, Mediapart claims that the hacking events shared identical modus operandi: Lorho stated that, in September 2006, Dominguez passed a paper to him, for Quiros, with an email address and certain keywords, Lorho even stated that he 'folded the paper' and 'wasn't concerned with the contents' of that sheet. Lorho was he who'd told Judge Cassuto that 'Dominguez' clients were 'Anglo–Saxon or American'. Mediapart covered the known 'affaire Landis' in two paragraphs, mentioning his 'guerilla juridique' (taking the Spanish meaning of 'little war'), and then states the most interesting part of this article (Ww translation):

It was in this context that the journal L'Equipe revealed, in November 2006, that the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) had filed a complaint for «intrusion informatique» – and indirectly launched the affair EDF/Greenpeace. In fact, since the end of October 2006, mail and emails designed to appear as if coming out of the LNDD and signalling analysis errors from the laboratory were sent anonymously to WADA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and to certain laboratories accredited by WADA. However, these false (mails) could not be fabricated without having access to the real LNDD documents.

Mediapart does not expand their inflection regarding EDF and Greenpeace, and how the revelations of the LNDD affair brought forth that EDF/Greenpeace process. Intriguing, tantalizing, and yet unfulfilling, as to the interrelationships regarding the three French targets. Using the word 'anonymous' as to the emails described above, seems contradictory to the claims of Baker's involvement, which are discussed throughout the article.

It does pinpoint that, once the paper L'Equipe revealed this story, it didn't drop the bone: Mediapart claims L'Equipe 'assured that someone close to Floyd Landis was implicated in the diffusion of the false correspondence.' Yet this appears 'known' to all. Dr Arnie Baker never hid the fact that he sent OUT documents 'received from whistleblowers'. Anonymous falsified emails; Baker's whistleblowers' emails; which is it? Both?

One of the strongest arguments in Baker's favour could be this: anyone wanting to discredit some entity, to the point of sending out emails containing information that, as sourced, were acquired through clandestine operations, and if involved in their illegal acquisition, ought to be smart enough to take a CD to an Internet café, create a Gmail account, send out the documents to a list of email addresses, and then close the account, so as to sever any trace of the transactions.

Wouldn't only someone innocent send such emails out from his own computer?

Mediapart stated that:

The declarations of Messrs Lorho and Quiros support the thesis implicating the American cyclist's entourage in the pirating of the anti–doping laboratory. An implication that M. Dominguez refused to confirm. [Regarding a session in Judge Cassuto's court on April 7] he left it understood that, he himself, had done nothing but obey a mysterious order from a client ('commanditaire'), of whom he didn't offer the identity, who had given him 'une enveloppe kraft' that he'd only transmitted to [Quiros] via Lorho, the boss of Kargus.

Nowhere in the Mediapart article, is the crucial question asked: “to whom did Quiros physically give the information he procured through hacking into the LNDD email system?” Also unknown, is why Dominguez refused to state 'who' his 'Anglo – Saxon clients' were, when we know that Vivendi backed the hack into the lawyer's office, and EDF (or its rogue managers) paid for the hack into Greenpeace. One can only wonder if he was paid by 'someone' to 'state' that these were his clients, when in fact they didn't exist?

Continuing, Mediapart said:

“It was only after the fact, that we became aware of the gravity of the facts, and the nature of these actions, properly speaking,” affirmed Dominguez, who concluded: “We had discovered several months after reading L'Equipe that a laboratory had been the object of information piracy. We were perfectly conscious that this was an outlaw act, and that we were put in a position of indirect complicity of the infraction.”

The Mediapart authors didn't seem concerned enough by the evident contradictions to enunciate them: Lorho claimed a paper was handed to him, which he folded, while Dominguez claimed he'd passed an envelope. Dominguez, who'd paid cash for hacking by Quiros previously, apparently woke up 'months after' November 2006, when the L'Equipe articles regarding LNDD hacking began, to the 'reality' that his passing of requests for additional hacking may have legal implications. This from a man whose chequered past allegedly included time as a French secret service agent, a mercenary or war–zone photographer.

Rare, to find someone with an 'ON–OFF' naïveté button as distinguishable, apparently, as is that of Monsieur Dominguez. One thing that tweaks our 'Warning/Alert' knobs is that, apparently, these 'hacking' incidents weren't into the computer–filing–data systems, per se.

Quiros was given email addresses; thus he was hacking into email systems, probably installing a 'Trojan Horse' spyware program, and sifting the resulting data for applicable content, or attachments via the list of selected keywords. This is important: in our previous WADAwatch posts, our focus and thinking was directed toward the 'computer system' at LNDD itself. We presumed (wrongly) that the 'hacking' performances targeted the computer files of original accumulated data. One article, in fact, states that Quiros hacked into LNDD "... to recuperate the Landis dossier." But then, journalists often misplace 'facts': WADAwatch believes Quiros' statement itself.

So: 'documents in transit' were targeted – the contents of in–boxes and out–boxes – not the source locations of the files themselves. This is worthy of noting: the 'information' they 'hacked', was information that had already been sent either internally between one or several of the complainants' LNDD computers, or outward: to the parent Ministry, WADA, UCI or... to LNDD's favourite newspaper? Hmmmm... doesn't this increase the credibility of a theory that a true 'whistleblower' had acted? After all, we aren't informed how many people, in how many institutions, had received emails from LNDD prior to the hacking event(s).

WADAwatch finds it disconcerting that Pierre Bordry and L'Equipe want the world to believe that former French government secret service 'dudes' would take as clients, some 'mysterious Anglo–Saxons', and operate a hacking attack against their own government, who were the main source for their contacts and business. Given the idea of spending time, if 'caught', in a French prison, and given the concept that these men were otherwise protecting major French political and commercial interests against NGOs and activist lawyers, their leap across to Landis' rescue seems outrageously unbelievable.

Evidently, if 'Anglo–Saxons' paid for this, Dominguez should have charged some steeper fees, of which the € 2,000 payment to Quiros would be a mere fraction. We aren't told via the press if Lorho/Kargus received a cut as well, either above or from that € 2,000. If it happened as we are led to believe, perhaps it's no wonder that Kargus Consulting had to shut down operations in the Fall of 2007... their legal defense fees in these three cases may be higher than what they charged(!)...

However the events could have hypothetically come about through a different, perhaps slightly more logical scenario.

If LNDD evidence was as thin as we now know it to be (a T/E test thrown out by AAA arbitration; only one of four testosterone metabolites positive, and only within the margin for error, etc etc), certain French 'factions' that support LNDD in everything it 'achieves', could find it very easy to 'plant' a trail of evidence, via the use of former French secret service personnel, that would create 'damning evidence' (circumstantial) that would 'taint' the bad boy from Pennsylvania: especially after publishing those allegations via L'Equipe, whose unique role in the world of sporting/cycling news obviously remains a source of corporate pride.

Remember, on behalf of Dominguez' commands, Lorho/Kargus arranged for Quiros to hack:

  • an attorney who represented an association of 'small–number' citizen–shareholders, seemingly by command from one (Vivendi was named) multinational French corporation;
  • the French Government, in the 'moral person' of LNDD, by 'command of Anglo-Saxons' (aka 'Landis' entourage'), and;
  • an anti–nuclear NGO (Greenpeace), ostensibly by 'rogue managers' employed full–time by nuclear power–oriented, overwhelmingly State–owned (87pc) EDF.

Fishy? Not bloody likely? Or...?

Bordry wants Baker extradited (our presumption: he actually proposed requesting an 'international arrest warrant') to recount to Judge Cassuto 'his role' in the LNDD hacking affair. Perhaps Bordry should remember the phrase 'Follow the money'? How did Dominguez get paid, if paid from San Diego? Moreover, why did L'Equipe publish that Landis or his entourage was involved in the hacking, before the OCLCTIC (French 'Info–Tech police') knew that Kargus was the corporate source of the computer invasion? Having a 'link' to the receipt of emails from Baker is not evidence itself that Baker financed any hacking efforts. However, there's more than ample evidence of 'obsessive-compulsive' behaviour throughout these revelations.

Maybe 'the clients' were just another fiction, supporting the long line of (... vindictive?) stories from L'Equipe? Only Monsieur Dominguez really knows...


copyright 2009 Ww

When is a leash not a noose...?

Before WADAwatch was born...

Our sister–blog crystelZENmud scooped the world two years ago, by publishing an article ( LNDD DEAD: END of an ERA???) regarding the legal reform of the Laboratoire nationale du dépistage du dopage, whose independent status was revised, integrated into the AFLD as their département des analyses. We asserted then that such modifications (along with some pertinent changes to texts of competencies required for the scientific staff posts) were a sign of French governmental discontent (the predominant stimulus for reform) with the status, and the comportment, of LNDD and its public image.

News falls, again from France – this time not a WADAwatch scoop – which indicates that changes are again under way in France, this time within the AFLD itself. In the margins of the hotly–contested, new French law reforming its hospital/health–delivery systems, guided by Madame la Ministère Rosalyn Bachelot, is an amendment concerning AFLD. Our thanks to a diligent reader who had passed the news to Ww.

The French newspaper Le Monde carried the story on June 1, 2009, discussing the effects for AFLD of this development.

Apparently the Sarkozy administration has pushed for the Parlement to give it the authority to act upon executive order to 'assure the conformity of French law with the principles of the WADA Code'. Beyond that goal (as the revised WADA Code took effect January 1, 2009, it is certainly not precocious to move France into the second Code), the proposed amendment(s) would permit 'a revised partition of competencies between the State, AFLD and the sporting federations, as well as the governance of the Agency, as “an independent public authority holding moral personality”'. As such, the AFLD holds (Or has held) an independent 'legal person' status: in summary, Le Monde states precisely that 'this measure makes AFLD fear ('fear'?) a coming 'probation' status implemented under the Ministre de Sport, Bernard Laporte.

Why would a government agency 'fear' a constrictive revision of its legal independence?

Le Monde asserts that Nicolas Sarkozy's government seeks to modify the governance of the Agency (overseen by a 'Collège'), as well as how its president is designated. Budget changes are included, with a novel performance–based contract–renewal every three years.

Adding a post of 'Government Commissar' ('commissaire du gouvernement') may also be envisaged, yet the Ministry apparently maintains that 'It is not a question of putting into doubt the independence of AFLD, but more to institutionalize the relations between AFLD and the State.' Thus the 'fear' seems to be directed at the 'leash' or 'noose' that will restrain Team Bordry...?

Website Les Dessous du Sport (which could be 'the Underwear of Sport', literally, but more probably means 'the underbelly') offers a direct quote from the Amendment's text. It states (Ww translation):

The proposed amendment targets amelioration of the coherence of national policy regarding the fight against doping with a revision of the division of competencies between the State, AFLD and the sporting federations.

Les Dessous du Sport recounts one of its responses from AFLD regarding the French Amendment:

“We don't know enough where this is going to lead us; until today, the AFLD was an independent public authority. This amendment, which installs a redivision of competences, could modify the functioning of the Agency and the existing relationship with the Ministry.”

Les Dessous contributes a quick analysis: “If the text is adopted [last Wednesday, June 3, 2009] by the Senate, it goes next in front of the commission mixte paritaire” (which could well be a 'legislative reconciliation committee', where different texts from the lower House and Senate are merged).

This is an interesting development.

After the 2005 Lance Armstrong–L'Equipe–LNDD–EPO fiasco, where the French 'anti–doping powers that be' publicly rewarded Lance for his seventh consecutive Tour de France victory with publication of scathingly insinuative articles by L'Equipe alleging 1999 r–EPO use. After those articles swiftly toured the world, the first realignment took place as LNDD 'disappeared', resurfacing as the 'département des analyses' within the structure of the AFLD.

Loose cannon(s)?

Now, one could say that the AFLD 'Romper Room' needs a new monitor, in the guise of a (potential) 'Commissaire' from the Ministry of Sport, one can only conjecture as to the necessity, the intrigue(s), the exterior pressure(s) and their sources, that bring Bernard Laporte and Rosalyn Bachelot to install supervision over Pierre Bordry, AFLD and the département des analyses.

Unless... no, it couldn't be... what if Jean-Pierre Lamour is skulking around AFLD?

Lions et Tigers et Bears, Zut! Alors...


copyright 2009 Ww

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Biological passports: the hour of Verity?

A sometime insomniac, this author caught a story on the Swiss TV network in the 'late night, early morning hours', which brought into light the Swiss anti-doping laboratory, its directeur Martial Saugy, and had interesting news from the UCI headquarters: several riders, whose abnormal profiles are suspiciously 'hors-normes', could be facing 'BAD NEWS' in the near future.

If you are versed in French, enjoy the film clip covering this story (if that link doesn't work, try this one, from the Swiss anti-doping lab itself, and see the entry for June 8th, and the words 'see the video').

You'll see Alexander Moos, talking about the 'burden' imposed by the whereabouts system devised by WADA and within its ADAMS computer system (a definition of which is in the glossary of the WADA CODE, unlike 'Aggravated circumstances').

Martial Saugy explains some of the science, and also has a hope that this long-term biological passport removes some of the 'lawyering' from the aspects of doping detection and discipline.

WADAwatch is in favour of anything that reduces the influence of 'judicial interpretation' of the lacunae found in the WADA regulations, by a 'small group of insiders'; what seems unfathomable by most lay people, is that clear rules reduce ambiguity, and eliminate 'loopholes' or lacunae through which lawyers can extend or expand the necessary legal defense strategies.

(IF you cannot understand French, still this short video with sound OFF may be informatory, as they show the ADAMS computer system screens, with Moos' registered times for the 'Vultures' of whereabouts testing to find him)

More to come this week, on the Landis hacking attack (attack? by Landis, or Baker, or Bordry on those two?)


copyright 2009 Ww

Monday, 8 June 2009

Holes in the AFLD-zone...

This is a “thinking out loud” post, continuing a focus on the French Anti–doping Galaxy's apparent obsession with Floyd Landis. From a weekend of reflection, several salient points rebounded time and again. These are:

1 how (not to forget one big -IF-) did Baker first contact Kargus?

How easily could a Doctor in San Diego 'infiltrate' the French corporate–espionage culture, to find a well–situated 'partner in crime' such as Kargus consultants? Admittedly such could be done with a 'couple of phone calls', but it seems incredible that Baker would do this after Floyd's A Sample results were announced. What if Floyd (and thus Baker) didn't know the number (995474) before Kargus had infiltrated (with instructions from 'client' to seek documentation under the number?) we know that Judge Cassuto requested the 'date from which Landis had access to his Sample(s) 'control number'?

2 does Baker know the identity (–ies) of the 'whistle blowers'?

If Baker did receive the documents from 'whistle blowers', did he have enough information to afford this qualifier? Meaning: if he didn't do it, and didn't know or hire who did it, and yet received these documents, it was either totally anonymous (plain envelope?), or 'Deep Throat'–anonymous (in the Watergate sense), or identifiable.

3 on what date (and via what 'channel of evidence') did French Government investigative Police agencies OCLCTIC or DCPJ identify Kargus as the 'hackers'?

As touched upon in 1, above, a 'defendant'
(Kargus) was identified by the 'diligent' OCLCTIC or DCPJ. Is the evidence based on their expert 'computer systems hacking' analyses? It must be. The dates are crucial: yet the 'channel of evidence' is primordial.

4 did (hypothetically) someone other than Kargus actually 'hack into' AFLD, but Kargus was willing to 'play the game' in return for a lesser sentence vis–à–vis EDF/Greenpeace?

These border on unspeakable alternative(s), and are herein proposed hypothetically, but one could conclude that Kargus had attained this 'defendant' status as a 'quid pro quo' situation vis–à–vis its status as
Defendant in the Greenpeace-EDF case, as the contracted 'hacker company', or...(??)

5 why did USADA/Young never raise the 'hacking' issue, which would have qualified Landis' 'crimes' as more aggravated?

Richard Young had, between his first acceptance (not that anyone twisted his arm to do so) of the USADA case against Landis and its resolution, many many months of chronological overlap, during which he was also drafting the new WADA CODE revisions, which were accepted in Madrid in November 2007. As that work included drafting the new CODE Article 10.6 on 'Aggravating Circumstances' (without adding a 'Definition' (see Question Three)), it would seem logical to this legally–trained mind, that proving 'aggravated circumstances' in the Landis case would be a bonus as the CODE negotiations moved forward.

If a 'defendant/cyclist' actually 'hacked' into the lab that held his results, wouldn't that constitute 'egregiously aggravated circumstances'. So why didn't Young use that 'evidence'? There seems an implication that it took a long time for OCLCTIC or DCPJ to actually discoverthe 'hackers' were identified.

As well, remembering how Richard Young's
brief and case against Landis in the CAS appeal had an unusually glaring amateurish mistake (in a 'trial de novo' you do NOT ask the appellate court to 'confirm the decision below': Young did ONLY that in his CAS appellate brief), and interesting incidents which fell outside normal CAS procedures, (see Landis' Federal case brief, in which his attorneys raise damning evidence and arguments that were never heard due to the case having been withdrawn) he could have easily included the hacking evidence as an 'unargued argument', if it had been resolved in France prior to the CAS hearings in New York. So... that seems to indicate it took the 'French Justice system' nearly a year and a half to find Kargus as the 'defendant'(??)

6 Lastly, was Landis/Baker 'the client', or a silent 'third–party beneficiary'?

As touched upon in item #2, the alleged 'Anglo–saxon client' could have been someone that was willing to do anything that might help Floyd, without having a direct tie to Team Landis. As you may be a 'beneficiary' of your parents' life insurance policy, a contract can benefit an unnamed 'third party'. Anyone so inclined as to provide Landis with 'help' from outlaw–shenanigans, and set up the means to do so, ought to be smart enough to receive Kargus' discovered E–files and send them on a CD to Baker, so as to eliminate any network–traces. The only link between Baker and the hacked files is known through his having sent these outward after receiving them.

Thus it would have to be, as Pierre Bordry and AFLD would have the system of French Justice believing, that Dr Baker (or "Anglo-saxon(s) X"):
  • found someone (French!) who would risk infiltrating a French Government office computer system, and risk criminal charges in France, for a ridiculously low price (Euro 2,000);

  • provided them with the 'rider number' (995474) so as to have a target to accomplish the hacking;

  • receive the files (as 'Anglo–saxon clients'? we are led to believe) and then send them forward from their own computer to the recipients.

Those seem to be our outstanding issues, regarding LNDD hacking and any ties to the Landis entourage. Moving onward, since those answers are for another day, we come to the WADA ISL article that was mentioned in our prior WADAwatch post: ISL

Here it is (from sub–Article Data and Computer Security):

Access to computer terminals, computers, or other operating equipment shall be controlled by physical access and by multiple levels of access controlled by passwords or other means of employee recognition and identification. These include, but are not limited to account privileges, user identification codes, disk access, and file access control.

One talks about 'elements' of a law or rule, when one has to break it down into components to be proven in any 'court case'. In our examination of LNDD laboratory security, this would require listing those 'elements' for analysis of the elements of, which are:

First sentence:

(a presumption of legitimate access implied)

“... to computer terminals, computers or other operating equipment...”
(non–exclusive listing of the info–tech and scientific equipment one finds within a WADA accredited laboratory)

“... shall be controlled...”
(mandatory stipulation without exception, the violation of which should be grounds for audit/investigation/discipline)

“... by physical access...”
(imprecise wording: 'control of access... by physical access'(?) this is really problematic drafting, as the sentence should at least contain 'by qualified staff or authorized third parties (eg: systems providers' repair/maintenance personnel) receiving authority to enter into the premises (and systems)...' to define the principle of 'physical access')

“... and by multiple levels of access controlled by passwords or other means of employee recognition and identification.”
(sadly drafted (again); where at least 'physical' was the adjective above, this lacks an 'IT' reference, to coherently define as to 'what' control by passwords, etc., is required to have in place in a WADA lab)

Second sentence:
“These include, but are not limited ...”
(as above, establishing a non–exclusive list)

“...account privileges, ...”
(those computer system or software controls, which allow Directors more access than supervisors, who hold more access than data–entry level staff)

“...user identification codes, ...”
(incontrovertible passwords or other controls, which establish that 'Operator 43' (hypothetical choice) IS he or she whose data–entries create 'the record';)

“... disk access, ...”
(seems to imply 'physical access' to hard–drives, perhaps servers, who in a lab of international renown probably reside in controlled–access 'cool rooms')

“... and file access control. ” (seemingly a redundancy, as 'account privileges' and 'file access control' overlap to a great degree; where applicable to insure perhaps that 'Operator 43' cannot (hypothetically) mistake the file into which 'her' work goes, thus avoiding confusion with files belonging to 'Operator 39'?)

Now even the Pentagon (maybe not the best example: how about... IBM?) suffers from constant attempts at 'hacking' from the outside, not the least of which come from abroad, from 'strategic partners' (Asian powers?) or other (so–called) 'opponents' of 'the American Way'. Point being, that 'hacking' must be acknowledged, to the point of being taken seriously, and government systems themselves should be as well–secured as can be provided by experts in the IT industry.

If AFLD is accusing anyone associated with Floyd Landis, of being complicit in the
alleged LNDD 'hacking', for which Kargus consultants appears to be the 'defendant' of record, then an examination of their (LNDD) data system(s) security structure(s) will enter the record of the case.

Did AFLD 'control' their data systems to a degree of professional security reasonable for their industry as demands the WADA ISL, and which is recognized as sufficient within its professional community?
(if it's facing a hacking case, to prove it was not 'negligent' or 'insufficiently protected', AFLD /LNDD must offer evidence of its (their) control systems in place, and prove that the 'Hacking' from Kargus (who was paid only Euro 2,000) was of "an unexpectedly–sophisticated capability" to win)

If "file access control... disk access... [and] user ID codes" are WADA's preferred means to create 'access trails' to the important, confidential data stored by AFLD/LNDD, the wording of ISL shows that AFLD/LNDD is not constrained to limit its security measures by these items listed in the ISL: they could have even greater security than the minimum imposed by WADA. (did AFLD exceed WADA's expectations as to data systems security?)

What an interesting dilemma for Pierre Bordry and AFLD. Even with its previous 'wins' against Landis, through USADA/AAA/CAS, its own (we believe illegitimate) AFLD 'second procedure', and indirectly through Landis' US Federal Court case having been withdrawn, there's no rest at AFLD to ensure dotting the *i* in *Landis*.

Now, Bordry must convince a French court judge that Landis' entourage is responsible for financing a 'hack attack' on AFLD/LNDD's most secure and sensitive electronic files, that the successful attack released 'damning evidence', at the same time that it must convince WADA (not that WADA has announced any investigation for suspension of the AFLD 'département des analyses') that its systems are secure, its data is safe, and attacks such as that performed by Kargus (the true defendant, we are informed) in November of 2006, are not a breach of WADA ISL

We mentioned in our prior post that if Bordry's claim that the documents are authentic is true, then that seems to damn them (AFLD) for this violation. Whether or not Baker or Landis are involved, if Kargus is found guilty of 'hacking' AFLD, the judge should determine if the claimed method of attack went to the high degree of sophistication that (might) exonerates AFLD from WADA's wrath.

Yet... WADA has never expressed wrath towards anyone in France: not Jacques de Ceaurriz, nor his staff, nor Pierre Bordry, nor his staff, nor the Ministry, nor l'Equipe, nor ASO and its owners.

Consider this: without LNDD, AFLD, l'Equipe, Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis, the reputation(s) of Dick Pound and WADA would not be what they are today...

And you can take that any way you choose, and bank on it.


copyright 2009 Ww

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