Floyd’s Failure

6

by Byron on Jul 01, 2008 at 6:14 AM

Readers,

Every year, right before the tour we get either an update to a drug scandal or a new scandal. And this time it’s Floyd’s failure in the appeal process. The CAS scolded Floyd’s team for their aggressive tactics and attempts to embarrass and shame the lab.

What do you think? Did Floyd hurt his own case? Was he El Dope the whole time?

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Comments: 6

Personally, I think Landis showed himself to be of very little class throughout this situation. This ranges from a strategy that cost the parties a lot for very little (the large amount of witnesses), to witnesses who crossed the line from “challenge” to “smear,” to the whole Greg LeMond situation (who, under normal circumstances, would cause me to roll my eyes). As such, he very much hurt his case.

Which, quite frankly, is a shame. Based on the evidence he presents, I think that he makes a case for at the very least reviewing the procedures at the accredited laboratories. It sounds like there were serious gaps in the handling of evidence that casts doubts. There is a lot of interest for these labs to find people “guilty” on the B sample if the first test did so. To have a system that people have faith in, these procedures need to be iron clad. By providing so many distractions, the Landis camp hurt their credibility.

I believe the labs procedures need to be reviewed and improved. Had this case been found differently, in even a small fashion, such a review would happen. Instead, we just get, “Landis is a nut.”

Well put Charles. There was a NYTimes article on just that fact during the case—the dark side of Landis—and that’s what I thought. That he had a reasonable doubt case tarnished by the tactics of the defense team. I don’t know specifically how the CAS works, but if there was doubt, that seems overshadowed by their tactics. The second test was conclusive.

Note: I don’t know that Landis has a dark side or even if he was doping, but the team he surrounded himself did cause problems.

Concentrating on Landis’ legal strategy misses the big picture.  The labs clearly screwed up, and the powers that be in cycling took away his title (and destroyed his career) because they were too embarrassed to admit they made a mistake.  The anti-doping controls are flawed, but the cycling governing bodies and the the anti-doing authorities have too much to lose if they admit this.  The evidence against Landis would never had withstood the scrutiny of a regular court (at least in the US), but cyclists must subject themselves to the hit-or-miss techniques of the anti-doping bureaucracy if they wish to compete.  The sad conclusion, for me, is that I can’t trust either the riders or the officials, which makes professional cycling a spectacle, but not a sport.

@Christoper,

Right that’s the politics of it.

@Christopher has it right in my opinion.
Floyd did not handle this with the ponosh that was required, but he is only a bicycle racer not a world class politician.

I have read his book, his defense team that screwed up was mostly made up of old friends not the highly paid professional spin misters that other yellow jersey winners would surround themselves with.

I’m amazed that the authorities etc. somehow gets protrayed as the “little guy”, while the individual (Landis) is the big oppressive bully.

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