The Dope Beat

Friday, August 03, 2007


Almost every major sport is marred by scandal at the moment and many journalists are quick to discuss what the scandals' implications mean for the games. But Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist-turned-sportswriter, says more scrutiny should be paid to the allegations and those who make them.

Comments [4]

RW Ridlehuber, MS Chem

As a former manager of an industrial analytical testing laboratory, we complied with ISO 9001 standards. It seems ironic that WADA has no third party standards they are required to comply with to validate their credibility.

Aug. 06 2007 07:46 PM

"I believe Mr. Pound needs to re-evaluate WADA's position and in the future find a testing lab that is beyond reproach."

You sir, do not know Dick Pound very well (lol). He's not a guy that tends to re-evaluate his positions.

Aug. 06 2007 01:03 PM
Richard Nelson from Stevens Point WI

I have been subject to Urinalysis since 1982. First in the Marines, then as a Rail Traffic Controller. I am an avid cyclist and racer from the 70's - 80's. I hate cheating especially in cycling. I would however hate to have to worry every time I am subject to a random urinalysis weather I would test positive knowing I am clean. Sadly my life and wellbeing of my family revolves around my employment. I wish beyond wishes we could feel confident in the results of the tests of these cyclists. Bicycle racing is hard enough as it is. Some sort of double blind control has to be implemented to insure the credibility of these tests. I am sure that with the caliber of individuals involved in such things this is not an insurmountable task.

Aug. 06 2007 12:11 AM
Mary Kaminski, MS, RN from Philadelphia, PA

I strongly agree with Mr. Hiltzik's comments regarding the situation with Floyd Landis. As with Marion Jones, the "bell cannot be unrung". Regardless of the outcome of his hearing, there will always be speculation about whether or not he raced drug-free.

The Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD) that performed the testing has many issues of credibility: inability to guarantee that the correct specimen was tested, inability to test the specimen according to the guidelines set down by the manufacturer of the testing equipment, and the inability to follow its own procedures.

In addition, there have been issues raised regarding record alteration stored as electronic data files (EDF) at the Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD), thereby calling into question the authenticity of the EDFs from Landis’ Stage 17 analysis. If ever there was a text-book example of reasonable doubt, this was it.

For nine years as part of my professional responsibilites as a Registered Nurse, I collected blood and urine samples for the purpose of testing for illicit drug use. If I had handled those specimens and records as loose a manner as the (LNDD) did, not only would the specimens have been deemed unusable, but I would have been strongly censured; possibly even have lost my position. Why would any lab test specimens under those circumstances or guarantee the outcome was correct?

Why then is WADA advocating the use of these mis-labeled and mis-tested specimens as acceptable evidence? I believe Mr. Pound needs to re-evaluate WADA's position and in the future find a testing lab that is beyond reproach. Continuing upon this line will only make it seem that WADA wants to give the appearance of cleaning up cycling, instead of truly doing so.

I hope that Mr. Landis wins his case, but I do not believe he will. An athlete has never won a case against WADA, which should say something in and of itself. I have no expectation that things will change now. But regardless of the outcome, we will never know the truth-the testing lab has made sure of that.

By refusing to be open and above reproach, and unless radical changes are made, in my opinion Mr. Pound has succeeded in making WADA totally irrelevant and without credibility. Why should anyone continue to trust him to clean up the sport? Unfortunately, there seems to be no changes for the better on the horizon.

Aug. 05 2007 10:18 PM

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