Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Rare Saturday Post

Okay, I didn't blog yesterday... but I was busy. I was on the final level of Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenol (and I've since moved on to Challenge Mode).

I did get the Silver Creek Gansey to the start of the moss stitch triangles, which means I'm 2" from dividing for the armholes. Then it's much much more interesting.

The main reason I'm actually blogging today is for Debby. She asked me in my comments about the situation with Floyd Landis, and I thought I would share my thoughts (and no, I don't "know" Floyd personally. I've met him once when he came home and he did a charity event. We have followed his career for a while now, as we do a lot of the American riders. However, Floyd has always been a favorite).

Let me first say that cycling has serious issues with doping. So much so that there's a presumed guilt for all riders. Case and point was the removal of several riders before the Tour even started. One team was so devestated by this that they didn't have enough riders left to participate and they all had to go home. Since then, 5 riders have received letters stating they've been cleared of any wrong doing. So an entire team and 5 riders were pentalized because of "suspision" rather than by guilt. Of course, the expulsion was major headline news... but has anyone heard of the clearing of these riders?

The other issue that I see is that the assumption that these doping tests are perfect. They're not. The T/E test that Floyd "failed" has a 1% false positive rate. Think about that number for a bit. 1 in 100 tests will give you a false positive. Imagine taking a pregancy test with that kind of fail rate. The lab would be facing a lawsuit. The other thing to keep in mind is that this test is testing naturally occuring substances. It's not like a drug test. It's very obvious if you're testing for cocaine to know if there's cocaine in the system or not. A hormone ratio is much more subjective and many things occuring in the body naturally can effect these numbers.

I also think it's important to note that every athlete that has appealed this test has won. The test is seriously flawed and I think it's a shame that a person's entire career and reputation is based on this.

For a more specific account of Floyd's situation and a more detailed explanation of the T/E here's an article from Velonews.

My heart is breaking for Floyd Landis. I believe that he is falling into the presumed guilt mentality of his profession based on a test that doesn't tell the whole story. Even if his name is cleared and they find why his numbers aren't within their "range", the damage has been done. There will always be a question about it... and as my friend Bob says the scandles are front page news, but the retractions are small paragraphs buried on page 5.


  1. I was waiting for your commentary on this- thanks! It often happens, unfortunately, that even when a person is innocent, all the public remembers is what the person was accused of.

  2. Thanks -- I also was awaiting your take on this. --Syl, who had a false positive for Downs when I was pregnant with DD!

  3. Hi Cindy --

    Sorry so late to reply to this. C and I are on vacation, and I'm limited to really slow Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby...but THANK YOU for your post. It means so much to me. I am so heartbroken for Floyd and his family that everyone is so happy to ruin his career on one false positive. I'm not sure if it's the cortisone shots for his hip, or the thyroid meds that messed up his test, but everything I've read (bicycling com has some great test explanations too) seems to indicate that the testing system is extremely messed up. Anyway, I'm keeping up the prayers that the B test will somehow manage to turn out fine, and he'll be exonerated. I know some of the damages will never be undone, but if he can stay official winner of the Tour, and continue to race, I'll be happy.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful post, Debby


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