Floyd gets robbed.

So, as everyone has heard by now, the USADA panel, in a 2-1 split decision, has stripped Floyd Landis of his title.  The decision, and the dissent from it, are available in PDF from Trust But Verify.  The panelists all agreed that the original 11/1 Testosterone/Epitestosterone ratio was the result of a bad test.  That was what cued all the further investigation, so if it had been done right in the first place, Floyd’s victory would never have been in question.  The majority, though, decided that the isotope ratio study was convincing evidence that he had taken exogenous testosterone.  This, even though the method of identifying the peaks was basically guesswork.  Even though Landis’ testosterone levels overall were lower than average, not high.  As the dissenter said, “the metabolites identified in Landis’ samples are not behaving according to known science.”  If you’ve been taking testosterone, you have an elevated T/E ratio.  Floyd didn’t.  Other testosterone metabolites that should be correlated with each other don’t show those correlations in Landis’ samples.  The data show pretty convincingly that the lab’s techniques are simply not reliable.  In a real court, Landis would have won this case easily.
Nevertheless, two panelists think it’s good enough evidence to ruin Landis’ career.   Or more likely, don’t think that it’s bad enough to risk hurting the reputations of the USADA, WADA, and French LNDD lab by finding for Landis.

Doping is bad and we should be doing something about it.  It shouldn’t be a witch hunt, though.  As Sports Illustrated said, Landis “now has been found guilty by the closest thing to a fair trial any accused athlete will get.”  Too bad it’s not all that close.

3 Responses to “Floyd gets robbed.”

  1. Mary Harriet says:

    I think Kathleen Nelson did a great job of summing up the situation, he got screwed and there was nothing he could do about it. It is so sad it cost him $2 million.
    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists.nsf/kathleennelson/story/42051ED738D4561E8625735E001137AF?OpenDocument

  2. David says:

    Landis needs to take this to the US courts and to Congress.

    Cycling fans need to punish the UCI in any ways they can.

    Only these steps will get athletes real fair trials when accused of violating the rules.

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