Monday, February 15, 2010

17 How Cycling Pros Defeat Anti-Doping Part II

Has someone been watching too many movies?

Hey, do some of you still want to know the astonishing success secrets of Floyd Landis' Tour de France victory? I guess not, not now.

I had that funny feeling that the list of methods athletes and their cohorts use to fight anti-doping authorities was incomplete. Shortly after Joe Papp helped write the popular Part I of this post, we learnt of a guerrilla attack on a van carrying a pro cyclist's sample somewhere in Guatemala. In that ambush, the athlete's test samples were destroyed. What irony, eh?

Did you also wonder what else could be in the bag of dirty tricks?

Here's the headlines and a little snippet from today's NYTimes.

"Arrest Warrant Issued for Cyclist Floyd Landis

PARIS (Reuters) - A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against American rider Floyd Landis for suspected hacking into an anti-doping laboratory computer, French anti-doping agency head Pierre Bordry told Reuters on Monday."

So is Floyd the real ringleader of this operation? Or is it the person shown in the photo on the top, one Mr. Arnie Baker - ex bicycle racer, ex-doctor, writer and Landis' coach.

I'm not sure if this is common knowledge to a lot of people, but a poster chimed the following on the CyclingNews Forum :

"Dr. Arnie Baker hired a hacker to break into LNDD and steal documents. Baker then modified the documents and distributed them in an attempt to discredit the lab.

The French wanted Floyd Landis to answer questions months ago. At that time the possibility of an arrest warrant was threatened. Floyd Landis should have taken the opportunity to deal with the problem last year."

What next? Will these guys storm into a doping laboratory with RDX explosives and AK 47's? Should labs now convert to Apple Macs instead of Windows? Should anti-doping control now have anti-hackers on their staff payroll? Should vans carrying samples be bulletproofed, led by a motorcade?

Sadly, I respected Mr. Baker a lot and have read some of his books. They're still sitting on my shelf. Gosh its time to lose some of it. The French judge in question, Thomas Cassuto of the Tribunal de Grande, has issued an international arrest warrant for him as well.


Arrest Warrant Issued For Landis In France
How Cycling Pro's Defeat Anti-Doping Control Part I
8 Things On Lance Armstrong From The Other Side Of The Grass
NYTIMES : Cyclist Floyd Landis Says Anti-Doping Agency Offered Deal to Implicate Lance Armstrong

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  1. Trackasaurus1:47 PM

    Tragic fall from grace for Floyd and Baker, what will even be more tragic will be cycling fans here in America who'll start conjuring up conspiracy theories about the whole "France vs American athletes" BS.

  2. Anonymous2:12 PM

    Baker looks HIDEOUS in that pic. Is that a recent one?

  3. The sales from 'Positively False' might help him pay his way out of this.

  4. Trackasaurus :

    True, conspiracy theory will be funny. This is not so tragic. I mean, here's what I learnt today from "Race Radio" on CN Forums :

    "Arnie sent out the hacked documents to various media sources back in 2007 but at the time this was all the evidence the French police had. It was only last year when the French Police arrested a hacker for hacking into the Greenpeace computers and found that he had been paid by Arnie as well. A summons was issued for Arnie and Floyd, but they ignored it, so now an arrest warrant has been issued."

    They brought these upon themselves. This is consequence of their criminal activities, and failure to respect a summons.

  5. maybe he'll come out with another book, claiming to have been wrongly accused of hacking the AFLD by the french justice system. the level of conspiracy and intrigue is getting better and better. maybe someone should buy the movie rights.

  6. The warrant is only applicable to France, meaning that if he or Baker went there for some reason, they would be taken into custody. Technically, FLandis can still race in the EU as long as he doesn't cross through the French border.

  7. Mojo : Are you kidding me? Race again? Who's going to sponsor this guy now? It goes on without saying that Landis will have a hard time continuing this career, he's better off demoting himself to amateur level and showing up at the local crit course.

  8. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Whats the proof that he hacked? Can we see it?

  9. cyclogic4:09 PM

    Stupid people don't deserve yellow jerseys. Quit the dirty games Floyd. Anything you do to bring your reputation up now is not going to work, essentially useless.

  10. Arnie Baker has a priceless villian face.

  11. > Anonymous @ 3:39 PM
    > Whats the proof that he hacked? Can we see it?

    No you can not. You are not involved in the trial, so the evidence is none of your concern. Landis has not been convicted of hacking or conspiring it. He is being accused of it and he chose to not answer to the accusations, which lead him to this situation.

    Now, there is your excuse. Go on and play the conspiracy card. That is what you were really asking for anyway.

    The evidence will probably be made public once the trial is over, unless the evidence contains confidential medical information, in which case it will not be made public.

  12. Martin Skalsky M.D6:17 AM


    Thanks for the post. Always love the drama you can stir up with a news like this.

    And I'm with ASB on the bit on producing proof. Why does the burden of showing evidence now rest on the author of this post all of a sudden? What is your concern with it? I understand this case has been going on for sometime now and I can't imagine calling this some conspiracy if the French authorities have found evidence of hacking. Both these individuals deserve what they brought upon themselves.

  13. Great post - and priceless photos.

  14. And that Joe Papp fellow--seems he's gotten into some serious trouble since the guest post on doping here.

  15. Sprocket : Yes, that is untimely and unfortunate. I must say I have no more information on this than you and others already have.

  16. I've read Baker's Bike racing 101 book and this story I found shocking. Dropped by his website too. There seems to be so much inconsistent information out there, "Landis' former coach" and on and on. Amazingly, one is swayed with what they read, I saw there are for lack of better words, "defend the accused" blogs out there ( watchwada or wadawatch I believe is the name of one ). Oh, but don't think all of us Americans are head over heels with these guys, nothing could be further from the truth and truthfully, I know it is somewhat split over there as well. They were saying indeed, Floyd appeared on the Larry King show for what sounded like a small part of the hour show. Who knows? I didn't think he commanded that kind of attention.

    Oh, yes, the sales from 'positively false', can I get it for .01 used? :D

    What's up with this blog, it gives the hour and minute posted but we don't quite know the day? No biggie. Thx.


Thank you. I read every single comment.