Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.
Tonyf33
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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Aug 2016, 4:52pm

mjr wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:Simply let the hotel reception know X when you arrive, it should be standard practise/automatic, [...]
You as a travelling sports person know how security in hotels work, this is not an unknown factor.

So in your opinion, should she have told them to direct absolutely anyone up to her room between the hours of 6am and 7am? "According to the Daily Mail, the doping control officer [DCO] didn’t explain to hotel staff why he wanted the rider’s room number. After the staff refused to give him the information, he tried to contact her on her mobile phone, but she said that she had put it on silent while sleeping and didn’t hear it as a result. The Mail states that it appears no other attempts were made by the official to inform her about the test."

That's also odd. I understand that the minimum is for the tester to call every 10-15 minutes and to remain near the location, not just let it ring once, shrug, go away and report it as a failure. You could almost wonder if the tester wanted a scalp...

Where did I say direct everyone up, you're making yourself sound silly by making up nonsense that I've never suggested nor would happen in the thousands upon thousands of other completed tests that occur around the world with this probem. There is a simple and not too difficult way of solving your dilemma. Have a think about it.
SHE set the time for when she was available NOT the testers nor UKAD, she should know that testing for a top athlete is more common than the lower ranks, it's her responsibility to ensure ease of access, that's part of the deal.
The tester must clearly set off early doors to ensure they are at X place for 6am, you honestly think they thought sod it, I'm off after a few minutes? Your evidence/arguement that the tester tried once then went home is an article by that sorry excuse for a media outlet the daily fail. oh dear oh dear oh dear :lol:
Yep, she's officially on two missed tests...for now, it can't be long before she stuffs up again, three in, sorry, two in 9 months doesn't look great does it for a top of the line professional does it?

I'm not cynical, I'm logical about stuff, I'm also one for people taking responsibility for their actions, like what you put in your mouth, ensuring I do things correctly, making awkward sometimes unwanted situations be as smooth and as painless as possible for all concerned. I don't make up sad excuses about X and use that to make out I'm innocent.
Your viewpoint doesn't fall into my line of what being a responsible professional in whatever field should be, my viewpoint is also backed up by other professionals and many other people too.
Maybe I expect too much when it comes to drugs in sport and those that say they have "never failed a drugs test"

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Postboxer » 8 Aug 2016, 6:24pm

One of the articles I've seen I think said there were another 5 British athletes on 2 missed tests, Lizzie Armitstead is now on two strikes, but only missed one test, one of her strikes is from a paperwork error that was only noticed afterwards and didn't have a missed test related to it, if I'm right, and it was this error that the help from British Cycling may have noticed had they still been employed or if she had been informed that they were no longer checking up on her, if I've understood it all correctly, that I don't have a great deal of confidence that I have.

I'm assuming the other 5 aren't all cyclists but it does show that it happens, I expect the 18 months was changed to 12 months just because it must be fairly easy to default due to clerical errors or family emergencies, flight delays, adverse weather, illness etc and maybe so many athlete's were missing the odd test or making filing errors that they realised it was unrealistic to expect everyone to be perfect all of the time, and eventually, statistically someone would be getting banned for three errors despite not being any less careful than anyone else, just being the unlucky one whose errors have all fallen together.

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby mjr » 8 Aug 2016, 6:26pm

Tonyf33 wrote:
mjr wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:Simply let the hotel reception know X when you arrive, it should be standard practise/automatic, [...]
You as a travelling sports person know how security in hotels work, this is not an unknown factor.

So in your opinion, should she have told them to direct absolutely anyone up to her room between the hours of 6am and 7am? ...

Where did I say direct everyone up, you're making yourself sound silly by making up nonsense that I've never suggested nor...

Nowhere, but that's the problem, isn't it? You've not really said what she should have done differently. For all I can make out, she or her team could have told the hotel to allow officials access, but if the dopey testers didn't identify themselves as such, that wouldn't matter.

Your evidence/arguement that the tester tried once then went home is an article by that sorry excuse for a media outlet the daily fail. oh dear oh dear oh dear :lol:

Yes, it's not great, but until CAS publish, the leak reported in that comic is the most detail we've got, along with the two disagreeing stories from UK AD and LA.
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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Aug 2016, 7:08pm

In the absence of any comment linked to authoritative sources (apologies to Paul Dacre) it's with some reluctance that I have done some research. I'll be pleased if this smokes out somebody who really knows.

UK Anti Doping (UKAD) simply say they follow the International Standard.

http://www.ukad.org.uk/our-organisation ... rogrammes/

This, then, is the drug testing bible: World Anti-doping Code International Standard Testing and Investigations 2015 (I'll abbreviate this to WADA in references below)

http://www.ukad.org.uk/assets/uploads/F ... nal-EN.pdf

This is a thread-to-needle legally binding code running to some 109 pages. It explains in close detail how the anti-doping system operates, including procedures to be followed. "Whereabouts Requirements" ie what's being discussed here, is part of Appendix I at pages 89 -100.

For it to be found that the athlete "missed" a test it has to be proved that:-

during that specified 60-minute time slot, the DCO did what was reasonable in the circumstances (i.e. given the nature of the specified location) to try to locate the Athlete, short of giving the Athlete any advance notice of the test; (WADA p100)


It seems to be generally accepted that the tester (DCO) was prevented from locating the athlete in the specified location because the hotel reception refused access. We don't know why the tester refused to identify themselves, or whether it would have made any difference. I wonder if it was something to do with the "advance notice" proviso. The tester couldn't contact the athlete, whose phone was switched to silent and I don't think we know what if anything else the tester did to facilitate the request for a test sample.

The athlete was initially found to have not met the testing requirement (I hesitate to use words like "guilty") but an appeal was allowed apparently on the narrow grounds that the tester "during that specified 60-minute time slot didn't do what was reasonable" To spell it out, the tester turning up at that specified time and place isn't grounds for an appeal.

I don't know what other steps the tester might reasonably have taken. Actvating the fire alarm seems unreasonable. Has anybody any suggestions?

I began to analyse all the relevant bits of the WADA stuff to draw out the explanation why the "Whereabouts Requirements" were introduced to offer an explanation of the background of all this, but I'll post this as a starter (rushed out while it's still current.) I'd invite anybody who thinks the whole régime is somehow unreasonable to look at the WADA stuff as a whole before coming to a firm conclusion.

Just to make 100% clear, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has allwed the appeal so that concludes the legal aspects. As Tonyf33 points out, CAS publishes the results of its findings so in due course we may find out more.

http://www.tas-cas.org/en/jurisprudence ... sions.html

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby mjr » 8 Aug 2016, 7:26pm

thirdcrank wrote:I don't know what other steps the tester might reasonably have taken. Actvating the fire alarm seems unreasonable. Has anybody any suggestions?

Asked the hotel reception to call up to the room and pass the phone to the tester. Called the mobile a few more times. Called the mobile of any team official staying in the hotel and got them to meet the tester (while still on the phone) and take them to the room. The anonymous tester in the cycling tips article gives a few more extreme examples.
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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Psamathe » 8 Aug 2016, 7:50pm

thirdcrank wrote:...We don't know why the tester refused to identify themselves, or whether it would have made any difference. I wonder if it was something to do with the "advance notice" proviso....

I can appreciate the testers might not want to announce who they are and what they are there for to a hotel reception as it might then start disparaging rumours about the athlete amongst those who do not appreciate the nature of the testing regime. e.g. Tester: "Im a doping tester here to test <athlete's name> as part of our regime to stop doping in sport" ; later hotel staff to mate: "they must have suspicions about <athlete's name> as they sent this specialist tester out to take samples to try and detect doping ...". Not saying that is exactly how it might go but you would run the risk of inadvertently casting aspersions about the athlete.

IAn

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby pjclinch » 9 Aug 2016, 8:28am

Psamathe wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:...We don't know why the tester refused to identify themselves, or whether it would have made any difference. I wonder if it was something to do with the "advance notice" proviso....

I can appreciate the testers might not want to announce who they are and what they are there for to a hotel reception as it might then start disparaging rumours about the athlete amongst those who do not appreciate the nature of the testing regime. e.g. Tester: "Im a doping tester here to test <athlete's name> as part of our regime to stop doping in sport" ; later hotel staff to mate: "they must have suspicions about <athlete's name> as they sent this specialist tester out to take samples to try and detect doping ...". Not saying that is exactly how it might go but you would run the risk of inadvertently casting aspersions about the athlete.


Though OTOH if you're the team manager of the current top international professional squad it shouldn't be too hard to prepare a briefing for hotel staff you can just hand out in advance when you're making bookings. That might be created as a joint resource for all teams and the anti-doping folk themselves: a case of the more information that is out there the better the whole setup might be understood.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Psamathe » 9 Aug 2016, 9:52am

pjclinch wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:...We don't know why the tester refused to identify themselves, or whether it would have made any difference. I wonder if it was something to do with the "advance notice" proviso....

I can appreciate the testers might not want to announce who they are and what they are there for to a hotel reception as it might then start disparaging rumours about the athlete amongst those who do not appreciate the nature of the testing regime. e.g. Tester: "Im a doping tester here to test <athlete's name> as part of our regime to stop doping in sport" ; later hotel staff to mate: "they must have suspicions about <athlete's name> as they sent this specialist tester out to take samples to try and detect doping ...". Not saying that is exactly how it might go but you would run the risk of inadvertently casting aspersions about the athlete.


Though OTOH if you're the team manager of the current top international professional squad it shouldn't be too hard to prepare a briefing for hotel staff you can just hand out in advance when you're making bookings. That might be created as a joint resource for all teams and the anti-doping folk themselves: a case of the more information that is out there the better the whole setup might be understood.

Pete.

I agree but it comes down to responsibility. If it were accepted practice that this is what teams were doing then there would be less of a risk with an tester saying who he was and why he was there. But it is something the teams/athlete would have to do whereas the risk of starting rumours (or avoiding doing that) is the responsibility of the testing people.

(But I was just guessing at one possible reason why the doping tester person might not have been too keen on announcing who he was and what he was there to do - as I guess an athlete might have a valid complaint were rumours started inadvertently by a tester at a hotel reception).

Ian

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Aug 2016, 11:21am

I've avoided comment on LA's own explanation, as quoted by freeflow above, but I think this bit is worth closer attention:

Calling an athletes mobile phone is not a method approved by UKAD to try and locate an athlete, as such it is not an argument against me that I slept with my phone on silent in order not to disturb a room mate.


Here's what I see as the relevant bit of the WADA code.
I.3.4 It is the Athlete’s responsibility to ensure that he/she provides all of the information required in a Whereabouts Filing accurately and in sufficient detail to enable any Anti-Doping Organization wishing to do so to locate the Athlete for Testing on any given day in the quarter at the times and locations specified by the Athlete in his/her Whereabouts Filing for that day, including but not limited to during the 60-minute time slot specified for that day in the Whereabouts Filing. More specifically, the Athlete must provide sufficient information to enable the DCO to find the location, to gain access to the location, and to find the Athlete at the location. A failure to do so may be pursued as a Filing Failure and/or (if the circumstances so warrant) as evasion of Sample collection under Code Article 2.3, and/or Tampering or Attempted Tampering with Doping Control under Code Article 2.5. In any event, the Anti-Doping Organization shall consider Target Testing of the Athlete.
[Comment to I.3.4: For example, declarations such as “running in the Black Forest” are insufficient and are likely to result in a Filing Failure. Similarly, specifying a location that the DCO cannot access (e.g., a “restricted-access” building or area) is likely to result in a Filing Failure. The Anti-Doping Organization may be able to determine the insufficiency of the information from the Whereabouts Filing itself, or alternatively it may only discover the insufficiency of the information when it attempts to test the Athlete and is unable to locate him/her. In either case, the matter should be pursued as an apparent Filing Failure, and/or (where the circumstances warrant) as an evasion of Sample collection under Code Article 2.3, and/or as Tampering or Attempting to Tamper with Doping Control under Code Article 2.5.Where an Athlete does not know precisely what his/her whereabouts will be at all times during the forthcoming quarter, he/she must provide his/her best information, based on where he/she expects to be at the relevant times, and then update that information as necessary in accordance with Article I.3.5 (My emphasis)
(WADA pp90-91)


While waiting for publication of the CAS judgment, it seems to me that one of the relevnt issues here is the interpretation of '"restricted access" building or area.'

Now, I can see that for a colonel in the Red Army to say "I will be in the Officers' Mess in this or that Red Army military base" might be an example of restricted access, to the extent that it might amount to a "one-strike-and-you-are-out" evasion or even failure. Beyond that, properly run hotels are hardly wide open to all comers: I'll suggest that they are a grey area in this context and that a lot depends on what the guest - or in this case the athlete - does to facilitate access. As LA knows that even if her mobile had been on that it's not an approved contact method it's unfortunate that she doesn't mention what she did do eg alert the reception staff to the fact that she had named the establishment in her "Whereabouts filing." The hotel was in Sweden and if, for example, the reception staff were all Eastern European migrants there might have been a communication breakdown. (Although if that had been so, I suspect the Daily Wail would have been hot on the case.) It's usual that hotel guests don't to know their room number till they book in. The legalistic nitpicker in me wonders if that's not a case to "update the information as necessary."

If anything good comes out of this, it may be that the CAS ruling will set a precedent which will then lead to an amendment of the WADA code for the procedures to be followed by both the athlete and tester when the location specified in a Whereabouts Filing is a hotel. Otherwise, we risk a proliferation of athletes' hotels with unco-operative reception staff. Of course, only foreigners would do that, especially Russians and their ilk. :shock:

BTW, I know there's been loads of discussion elsewhere about this but if anybody refers to it, it would be really helpful if they provided at least a reference and preferably a link. (With apologies to those who have done so.)

(Excuse some blatant stereotyping - I do know there must be some people in Scandinavia who don't speak English.)

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Aug 2016, 12:58pm

pjclinch wrote:Though OTOH if you're the team manager of the current top international professional squad it shouldn't be too hard to prepare a briefing for hotel staff you can just hand out in advance when you're making bookings. That might be created as a joint resource for all teams and the anti-doping folk themselves: a case of the more information that is out there the better the whole setup might be understood.

Pete.
That does rather rely on the hotel staff actually reading the supplied briefing document (as does 'Why didn't she tell the receptionist to allow inspectors access?' rely on hotel staff actually passing on such information). In my experience it is hard enough to get people actualy working on a project to read all the relevant briefing material: To expect hotel staff (in countries worldwide, from all cultures) to read a "briefing" note prepared by their guests is IMO somewhat farfetched. Maybe I'll try it next time I'm at a hotel, then quiz the restaurant receptionist at breakfast as to whether (s)he has been briefed on my contact-ability at breakfast.
The expectation of technology always to be available and working is rather high too IMO: I have certainly stayed on business trips, at hotels where the internet access was absent (or not working and no-one to take responsibility to repair it) and getting a mobile 'phone (even an SMS) to work reliably was not possible.
The inspecting regime and processes do need to cope with this type of thing and should have standard means of getting to the athlete's room if denied by overly-protective hotel staff. Given the ruling that the inspector in this case did not make sufficient effort, I agree with tc that the best to be hoped for is that a standard procedure is now defined (and followed by the testers).

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Psamathe » 9 Aug 2016, 1:51pm

thirdcrank wrote:...
Here's what I see as the relevant bit of the WADA code.
I.3.4 It is the Athlete’s responsibility to ensure that he/she provides all of the information required in a Whereabouts Filing accurately and in sufficient detail to enable any Anti-Doping Organization wishing to do so to locate the Athlete for Testing on any given day in the quarter at the times and locations specified by the Athlete in his/her Whereabouts Filing for that day...

...
Where an Athlete does not know precisely what his/her whereabouts will be at all times during the forthcoming quarter, he/she must provide his/her best information, based on where he/she expects to be at the relevant times, and then update that information as necessary in accordance with Article I.3.5...

Which would suggest saying you will be in a big hotel with lots of rooms is not adequate. It does seem to place the emphasis on the athlete rather than the DCO. The later bits would suggest "I'll be in the big hotel at address ..." is adequate provided it is then updated with e.g. "in Room xxx" when that information becomes available (or taking alternative steps to ensure DCO can find her).

That excerpt from the code does suggest it was a failure (one of the strikes) and I'd be surprised if being lenient with an athlete would go down particularly well given the Russian situation and now Kenya, etc.

Ian

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Aug 2016, 2:57pm

... I agree with tc that the best to be hoped for is that a standard procedure is now defined (and followed) by the testers.


Unfortunately, there's a "worst to be expected" outcome as well.

As I ploughed through the WADA stuff, I was struck by the similarities with the breathalyser system in the UK.

The requirement to provide samples of blood, urine and breath are invasions of individual privacy and should be subject to safeguards, especially when the person involved may suffer serious consequences such as the loss of their employment, be that through disqualification from driving or from competing in sport. Around here, and no doubt elsewhere, we used to have an arresting officer's guide / record of procedure provided in breathalyser cases, which took them through all the different permutations of powers to require samples and action to be taken in the event of a failed test or refusal to provide. Hospital procedures (when a suspect had been in a crash) were difficult, especially in the absence of the experienced supervisors in a police station charge office. In the early years the form was frequently amended and reissued as cases were decided and legislation changed, usually through the removal of so called loopholes.

I think it's important to stress that although legislation and disciplinary codes like this are devised with the broad picture in mind, for people accused of not complying, it's a very individual matter and they are entitled to have laws or codes interpreted in a judicial way, rather than on the basis of some sort of moral guilt, public opinion or whatever.

In terms of the breathalyser there are countless learned friends - even one pleased to call himself Mr Loophole - who advertise their services in this connection. There's sometimes media attention if a well-known person (often a soccer player, if I can indulge in a bit more stereotyping) is cleared, but being cleared is usually the end of it for defendants: they have benifited from "innocent until convicted" endov. There's rarely any reputational damage, and that's where the comparison between breath testing and drug testing in sport ends.

The damage to reputation of a case like this is likely to be considerable. There has been a lot of publicity for media interviews with LA where she has said that this will influence people's opinion of her in future (my words.) It's understandable that she continues to view this as a personal thing, but its effects are likely to be widespread.

For as long as I care to remember, cycling has been tainted by an association with drug taking and it's little comfort to most of us that this type of cheating has been exposed in many other sports. Wiggo is reported to have been angered by every media interview beginning with questions and barely disguised innuendo about "substances." Froomey is reported to be more philosophical and accepts the media's right to investigate. Just after the Festina scandal, several of us tried to generate some interest for leisure cycling in Leeds City Council's Leisure Services Department. They stopped us dead by saying that cycling had a poor reputation amongst parents. Others will know other examples.

Whatever the rights and wrongs and whatever the eventual published ruling of the CAS (if it isn't blocked for privacy reasons) there are no winners, especially in cycling.
========================================================
PS Forgot to include

Perhaps this is just me being over-sensitive to the way things are spun but all the headlines I saw seemed to refer to her failing to win gold, rather than her having finished in quite a high position.

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby Postboxer » 9 Aug 2016, 10:39pm

What I don't get is, there's a team of cyclists staying in a hotel, in Sweden, I don't know why they only go to test one athlete, is it because she's British and the tester is from UKAD, wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to join forces and test the whole team? Assuming they'd all logged that they'd be there at a similar time, seems a wasteful way of doing it if it's all being carried out by testers from each athlete's home nation, despite them all being on the road, across the world, in one big group. I don't know how they choose who they are going to test and where either, if they know where everyone is, maybe they test people in exotic locations for the free holidays, or in Calais for a booze cruise.

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Aug 2016, 3:58pm

Postboxer

The answers to most, if not all of your factual questions and loads more are to be found in the WADA code to which I linked above. Therein lies the explanation why most of what LA says in the explanation quoted above (by freeflow?) is interesting background reading and nothing more. For example, it explains why a negative in-competition test the morning after a missed out-of-competition test does not replace it. It also explains why testing late at night and early in the morning are both important (Tonyf33 touched on this above.)

Let's remember that a worldwide testing programme including most organised sports is a big undertaking.

The WADA code specifies how pools of athletes subject to testing are to be established and which organisations have authority to conduct tests. This was an out-of-competition test on a UK cyclist in Sweden. So my interpretation is that there would be overlapping jurisdiction for UKAD (national authority for place of residence) the Riksidrottsförbundet (The Swedish national anti-doping authority I think for location of test) and the UCI (as the international federation for the relevant sport.) The IOC also has authority in advance of the Olympics over athletes entered to compete, but I don't know if that applied here.

The code explains that out-of-competition testing is to be targeted, rather than random, and that's to be based on various factors including the perceived risk of doping in a particular sport. Perhaps cycling is high on the list? I don't know.

The computerised ADAMS system is intended to co-ordinate testing to minimise unnecessary duplication and so on.

Something I found interesting in this connection is that authorised testing bodies are required to co-operate with each other and can delegate functions to one another, so I think it would have been possible for UKAD to ask their Swedish counterparts to test LA on their behalf. I've absolutely no idea if that happened on this occasion. It would go some way to cover your point about freebie overseas travel.

This is all in my own words and I don't claim that somebody else might not interpret it differently. I began trying to fulfil my earlier plea for references here but there was just to much to cross-reference. For anybody who truly wants to increase their knowledge of this complicated subject the WADA code worth reading, but allow plenty of time.

I think it's important to remember that just because the CAS apparently ruled that the tester had not done everything correctly (again, my words) that does not necessarily imply that they were somehow crooked or even less, that the testers in general are improperly motivated. I'll suggest it's important to look down the correct end of the telescope.

And I now know that the Swedish for "LOG IN" is "LOGGA IN." :D
=======================================================================================
edit to add

It would be fair comment to say that fully understanding the WADA code is in itself demanding.
I've found WADA's at-a-glance guide to "Whereabouts."
https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com ... ng_web.pdf
===========================================================================
Another edit to add:

https://cleansportblog.wordpress.com/20 ... ts-system/

This is the UKAD summary of the "Whereabouts" system. I think it's a good general explanation but it doesn't go into any detail about procedures when a tester arrives to test an athlete.
============================================================================
yet another edit

I keep finding more stuff as I research this subject.
Here's a statement from UKAD about this case, issued pending publication of the CAS findings

http://www.ukad.org.uk/news/article/uka ... armitstead

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Re: Armitstead missed three drugs tests.

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Oct 2016, 2:07pm

I'm gutted to learn that even Lizzie Armitstead doesn't read my posts. :(

There's yet another bit of muck-stirring in the sports section of today's Daily Telegraph. Not really worth reding, never mind quoting but this gives an idea of the drift:

Deignan, who traded in her maiden name of Armitstead after marrying.......


Anyway, in another bit of self-justification she is quoted

What's important to remember is that my first missed test was absolutely not my fault. Ukad, I'm sure, will at some point, maybe, release a statement, which would be nice.


As I linked in the umpteenth edit to my earlier post, UKAD did release a statement (on 2 August.) It's too long to quote in full here but it begins

UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: "We respect the outcome of the CAS hearing against Elizabeth Armitstead. ...


Bearing in mind that the reasons for the CAS decision will have implications for "Whereabouts testing" worldwide this other bit seems important:

At the CAS hearing, Ms Armitstead raised a defence in relation to the first Whereabouts Failure, which was accepted by the Panel. We are awaiting the Reasoned Decision from the CAS Panel as to why the first Whereabouts Failure was not upheld.


After more than a couple of months we are still waiting. The decision to allow the appeal - perhaps more properly - not to uphold the Whereabouts failure was of course, made then. All we are waiting for now is for somebody to write it out in legalese. Then, bingo! Another controversy for the media and the longer it's delayed the more the eventual sensation.