Tuesday, 19 January 2010

L'identité nationale et l'AFLD

Are you privy to the grand "Débate nationale" in France, about their "national identity" or... what it means to be French? This pre-election strategy, spawned by Minister of the Interior Eric Besson (a former 'Gauchiste' turned Sarkozyste, whom some observers have implied is merely gauging the times and shifting his alliances to selfishly further his political career opportunities), has become a national embarrassment to Nico, as their webpages devoted to the debate tend to have a high percentage of 'xenophobique' or 'raciste' commentaries that have been censored.

You may ask what any of this has to do with WADA, and doping in Sport?

Well, a recent article (today! In fact) in l'Equipe, discusses WADA's viewpoint of the efficiency and results accorded to the UCI's passport program. President the Honourable John Fahey, is quoted as saying "The results of last year speak for themselves," and "I believe - but I don't believe in a blind fashion - that the very solid program which had priorly been put into place (Ww: before the Tour), particularly the biological passport, has brought us maybe towards this that we observed."

Very interesting observation, because as we left the Old Continent for Colorado, shuttle diplomacy by Fahey was precisely our prediction, following the AFLD's scathing anonymous report and low-handed leaking of that into Le Monde's reputable (otherwise) newspaper (not to mention the UCI reply). See our October/November archives (to right), or our 2009 summary at this link, which contains links to most of those vital posts.

Now trust Ww, for the paper, l'Equipe, made a rare concession in the final paragraph in this article (when Floyd Landis expressed similar disparaging comments about the French lab, they were rarely reported, and if so, never analyzed properly), by expressing the UCI's charges concerning the "lack of professionalism" exhibited at multiple occasions. In light of the importance of collaborations between the UCI and the AFLD, Director General David Howman is quoted as stating that "they'd talked with both entities about these affairs", adding that the French Agency "would abstain from any further commentary (about the 'affair')."

Let us be lucid, in reflection now upon 'l'Identité nationale', as one may surmise it from Plucky Pierre Bordry, our esteemed French Directeur of the AFLD. Would he be inclined to add to the national debate, that 'Being French, iz to geeve uz zee right to accuze our parteenaires ov zee total favoritisme ov zees team Astana, ov Armstrong, ov Contador! And, after we accuze ze UCI, we have zee right to refuse all furzer commentary on zees now-embarrazzing issue!

Folks, if the legal theory of 'guilt by association' exists, there seems to be in this case (if we repeat ourselves, it's only because it seems 'vital to the cause'!) a case to be made for 'guilt by refusal to debate.' IOW: You have 'flaming accusations' by a French Anti-doping lab that will not publish those concerns directly, but WILL allow insinuations to be published by Le Monde and its shrill, obedient reporter Stephane Mandard. You have a follow-up report, within a delay of only 3 weeks and a few odd days, which is a) available worldwide; and, b) damning in its counter-accusations (A shrink drawing blood; accusations about 'Barcelona' that, though 'scrupulously reported', contained the Wrong Date, and of course, leaks to the press)

And now we glean from L'Equipe that, apparently, the predicted shuttle diplomacy is going on between AFLD and UCI, at the behest of WADA.

Our only question then, would be this: Is WADA using its 'best offices' activity, in resolving this issue, *with* Pierre Bordry, or with his boss(es)? In the 'Official Ww Playbook', all legitimacy falls on the side of the UCI, and hardly anything can be deemed credible from the nefarious, unpublished AFLD 'J'Accuse!' pseudo-report. Plucky Pierre should be given a 'demotion' from serving in a governmental function to which he has brought excessively-publicized dishonour.

A final note: remember we'd mentioned that the AFLD département des analyses had been responsible solely for the urine sampling of Tour cyclists, and that all blood analyses were performed by the Swiss lab, directed by Martial Saugy? One wonders how the UCI can ever trust Bordry's lab (now under interim direction by Mme la Docteur Lasne), with any urine samples?

The l'Equipe article had mentioned this:

"The former Australian Finance Minister also praised not only the biological passport, which permits detection eventual anomolies in following the blood profiles of racers, but also the new analyses made upon the Samples from the 2008 Tour, which had permitted to catch certain racers with a new test for CERA, a 3rd generation EPO."

Interestingly, l'Equipe makes no mention of the 'pagaille' (which we've previously, in good faith, and humour, translated as 'clusterfççk') concerning Stefan Schumacher's CERA case, which normally would have reached a decision months ago, and which we discussed in our post of 15 January (scroll down or 'find' "Schumacher"), seems to be heading for another weak, "Floyd-ish" decision (or acquittal, as Schumacher observed).

Our point is this: proclaiming a 'test' is 'valid' in a newspaper, is easy, swift and unjust. Awaiting the legal decisions, that of course weigh in on the validity of that test in quasi-legal formalities, with quasi-legal weight, and some form of precedent-setting continuity.

As writer for our sister-blog crystelZENmud, this question was
contemplated, for the French 'national identity debate':

How insecure does a nation have to be, to initiate a 'debate' on 'national identity'...? One could well imagine such a debate in Iraq, or Somalia, or Haiti, where discomfort, trauma and unrest outweigh the status quo of a prospering Western nation...

Silence from the AFLD, from Plucky Pierre Bordry, harkens from the similar events between Eric Besson and himself, each of whom launched, with ZERO Consequence Analysis, a report or a debate that are huge embarrassments for Nicolas Sarkozy. The French 'omniprésident' (as nicknamed by favoured paper Le Canard Enchainé), has not flown to Montréal yet, to promise millions if only WADA could help Bordry escape from the pain-in-the-morass in which he finds himself.

If you read WADAwatch because you 'have to', thank you anyway; if you read it because we're ramblingly legal, thorough and with unique insights, thank you even more... this author is suffering from the mother-of-all-headcolds, after transplant surgery (a life in Switzerland was extracted, and flown to Denver, Colorado, for reinsertion into a previously living organism). Your cards and letters, or upcoming purchases from the fine line of WADAwatch accessories (to be rapidly expanded from now until February), are very much appreciated...

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