The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, February 24, 2007

French About to Get Egg on Face Over Landis?

I was deeply embarrassed when the report came out that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis was accused of doping and may lose his title. Since there has not been much news, I have not though about it for some time. Today, however, a blockbuster news item has been released that the French lab that made the claims may have breached lab standards during the testing. This may be enough to toss out the positive doping result. According to AFP via
The the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the French laboratory which found the positive results against Landis had two technicians involved in the original urinalysis and the confirming test, validating their own findings.

Such access to both samples violates anti-doping regulations and supports Landis's contention that numerous errors in the chain of care regarding the tests and samples should invalidate the doping positive.
[Bold mine] So two of the same individuals involved in the original test participated in the confirmation test. When the stakes are this high, it is simply common sense to have as many checks and balances as possible. Having seperate teams handling each phase makes perfect sense. I used to count money for the church I attended. They had a fantastic set of checks and balances. They had teams that only counted once per month and insisted that 3 team members always be there. While it is obvious not to have a single individual counting, the thinking was that it is much harder to get three individuals to be involved in stealing the money. The same idea was in these ignored regulations. Of course this was not the first offense from this lab:
A similar mistake made by the same lab in 2005 resulted in the dismissal of doping charges against Spanish cyclist Inigo Landaluze in December, the Times reported.
So knowing that eyes all around the world would be focused on how the tests were conducted, and knowing the lab already had a black eye from the Spanish cyclist incident; this lab insisted on breaking regulations again. With a U.S. dominance of the French's event for nearly a decade, the dismissal of charges against Inigo and the hooplah over inconsistencies and lost samples in Lance Armstrong's testing you would think the French would want this testing to follow the letter of the law in regulations. Given that they didn't, the French open themselves up to the appearance of impropriety. They look desperate to dethrone the U.S. winners at any cost and the whole thing smacks of dirty tricks.

There is no way they can take away Landis' title with such a cloud hanging over the botched procedures in testing. Or can they? Just how much egg are they willing to accumulate on their face to kick out Landis? The title will stay and the French will have to comfort themselves that they have sullied Landis' name even if he is innocent. The test lab is now irrevocably sullied and future test results will be in doubt. I highly recomment that the French get their testing "house" in order. They should consider sending a confirmation test to a 3rd party non-French lab. Until then, it is time to clear Landis and give him the honor due for his win.


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