The Landis Defense

Floyd Landis' defense effort is now in full effect. For the past couple of days he has been posting on DailyPeloton threads (thread one, thread two), and today he posted his motion for dismissal as well as testing documents on his blog. It is a very bold defense with a smart purpose: tired of seeing the media interpret for the public what his defense is (e.g. 'beers and whisky', 'cortisone injections', 'thyroid medications'), Landis has chosen to state his defense directly to the public. No misinterpretations, and Landis can strongly state he has nothing to hide.

After reading the motion for dismissal, I'm not sure how I stand. There's simply too much science that I don't have the professional experience to understand. The main thrust of the argument in the motion for dismissal is that by WADA's own criteria, Landis' result wasn't a positive: only two of the four metabolites were above the positive threshold, and one of those two was within the error range of measurement to be negative. There is also a second main argument put forth that the calibration of the equipment on the negative control sample shows that the equipment was off.

There is a separate presentation made available that makes slightly different arguments from the motion for dismissal. It visually documents multiple surprising errors in the test documentation: there are multiple cases of Landis' barcode and sample numbers are incorrectly recorded or rewritten. There is also a slide indicating that Landis' sample shows measured contaminations levels above what is allowed to be used. Also surprising is the amount of variance in the lab's measurements: Landis' T:E ratio jumps from 4.4 to 11.8 between test runs.

Regardless, bold move. At the very least, it makes WADA look bad, which I am in favor of, as I personally believe that athletes should be incriminated with the best possible evidence so that we, as a public, aren't subject to endless doubt when doping cases arise.

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