The role of Dr Don Catlin + His rsponse to SI Article on Lance Armstrong [merged]

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May 11, 2009
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onefastgear said:
Oustide magazine has posted a link from Catlin's Blog rebutting some of the evidence presented in the SI article.

http://outside-blog.away.com/blog/2011/01/don-catlin-response-to-si-article-on-lance-armstrong.html

The link to Catlin's blog and detailed rebuttal is below:

http://thecatlinperspective.wordpress.com/

It doesn't strike me as a particularly strong rebuttal of the SI article. I'm also not sure how the Armstrong camp will take this. Is Catlin a credible or discredited source according to team Pharmstrong?
I see this alot in the forum in that the substance of a statement in parsed for intricate meanings that are really not relevant.

An anti-doping expert will always leave open the possibulity that doping has occured. In making a denial of a positive, he or she will look at the evidence and conclude that the evidence does not support the conclusion that doping IS present. That does not exclude the possibility that it is.

Anti-doping requires a struct objectivity, one that ALWAYS leaves open the possibility of both doping and ... not doping. The final determiner at any point is made on evidence alone.

Those who are charged with fighting doping must, and indeed should, coach their language in terms exactly like Don Caitlin's. They would not be professinals if they did not.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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We were aiming to collect from Armstrong on average every three days throughout the cycling season. Such a program would be very challenging logistically and would be quite expensive. It would also likely impact the activities of the international doping control process. We did not want to impede or interfere with the sanctioning bodies’ ability to test Armstrong, which we knew they would do frequently.
So, it was every three days or nothing a tall? No way to scale it back to once every week or even every two weeks?

The protocol was unlike any other being undertaken prior to, then, or since. I can't imagine that even going every 14 days wouldn't be far and away more exhaustive than anything else being done.

Catlin seems to place the blame on the frequency of the testing (and the correlating logistics and costs) but it seems pretty flimsy on it's face.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Race Radio said:
Catlin was played.
Do you think that LA never intended to implement the program in the first place, that it was just a PR move with the full intention of shifting the excuses back to "logistics and cost" etc? Because his reversal did raise a lot of questions and suspicions at the time. The last thing I would think that he wanted.

Or might it have been his intention to go through with it, hopefully win the TdF, and then "prove" that he could do it clean, regardless of previous year's accusations?

Or...were there some other reasons, behind the scenes, that the whole thing fell apart? Too many questions from Greg about the specifics? ;)
 
Dec 7, 2010
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MacRoadie said:
Catlin seems to place the blame on the frequency of the testing (and the correlating logistics and costs) but it seems pretty flimsy on it's face.
Not to mention that it shouldn't have cost Catlin a dime (after being compensated for his expenses and obvious fees that he would have demanded for such an undertaking)! It wasn't like the financial burden would've been his. Why does he seem to sympathize with the that side of it? LA has money, no?
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Granville57 said:
Do you think that LA never intended to implement the program in the first place, that it was just a PR move with the full intention of shifting the excuses back to "logistics and cost" etc? Because his reversal did raise a lot of questions and suspicions at the time. The last thing I would think that he wanted.

Or might it have been his intention to go through with it, hopefully win the TdF, and then "prove" that he could do it clean, regardless of previous year's accusations?

Or...were there some other reasons, behind the scenes, that the whole thing fell apart? Too many questions from Greg about the specifics? ;)
Once Armstrong, and Ferrari, found out that Catlin wanted to test every 3 days they freaked and became as hard as possible to strike a deal with.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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MacRoadie said:
Catlin seems to place the blame on the frequency of the testing (and the correlating logistics and costs) but it seems pretty flimsy on it's face.
He has made it clear in the past that Armstrong became impossible to strike a deal with. He hid behind bunch of lawyers and Catlin could never finalize the agreement.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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(i suggest to view this thread with the other catlin thread, perhaps a mod can even merge them)
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=417045&postcount=20

to the substance of catlin’s rebuttal….

lets start with something that gets lost or obscured way too often but it needs to be clear as day if one desires to truly understand issues and separate garbage from the facts - by some technical standards (engineering/architect for ex.) analytical laboratories are ‘messy’, imprecise because they are based on an inherently ‘messy’ science.

yes, an engineer would be appalled to learn that an fda or an fbi acceptance criteria used during validation studies in the best forensic/medical/research labs is considered satisfied by a data spread around 15 to 20%.

an anti doping lab is no different. in fact ad labs are more reliable in many respects because they are bound by very stringent wada requirements for confirming and validating their results.

for example, a suspicious screening test must be not just confirmed three times by three tests, but it also must use a method based on a different chemical principle. to my knowledge, forensic and medical labs rarely deal with this and they simply say ‘what?‘ when they hear of a- and-b samples.

because of the above, a lot of suspicious results that in different circumstances may send a man to prison, get simply swept aside in anti-doping labs. This fact is not just under appreciated by laymen, the public is astoundingly ignorant of it. the blame is partially with the labs and wada…

this cleared, i still consider catlin’s inability to confirm 3 suspicious screens difficult to understand.

catlin’s failure to monitor armstrong is a different subject altogether... suffice to say an old man was ‘taken for a ride’. he mistakenly thought he’ll be the captain of his ship in his own domain but he got outplayed by the legal professionals instructed to sign only ‘my way or highway”. had he been a more shrewd politician with better awareness of the manipulative nature of armstrong, he would have NEVER acceded to texas ploy. he failed !!

on catlin the man…he’s a quiet, careful, conservative individual far from naïve (naïve don’t testified in over 60 trials) who prefers non-flashy style but as far i know he's not immune to self advertising (particularly since he started his own business with his son) and not void of well deserved ambition. the last several words may explain his keen interest in working with armstrong. but he erred that he will be allowed to do it ‘catlin’s way’ by a control freak from texas.

i dont doubt for a moment catlin realized by now he was duped by a habitual doper he thought would not get away from a hunter with his reputation.

again, he erred.
 
Race Radio said:
Once Armstrong, and Ferrari, found out that Catlin wanted to test every 3 days they freaked and became as hard as possible to strike a deal with.
Not what I heard. The program was always going to be dropped. It was just a way to soft land back into the sport. Armstrongs team knew that questions about the 6 EPO positives and all the drug references would come back. So he used Catlin as the initial front and once he was accepted back into the sport he dropped the program. By that time Comeback 2.0 was in full swing.

Question remains; did Catlin know he was going to be dropped and played his part or did he really think Armstrong would let him test him 3 times a week?
 
thehog said:
Not what I heard. The program was always going to be dropped. It was just a way to soft land back into the sport. Armstrongs team knew that questions about the 6 EPO positives and all the drug references would come back. So he used Catlin as the initial front and once he was accepted back into the sport he dropped the program. By that time Comeback 2.0 was in full swing.

Question remains; did Catlin know he was going to be dropped and played his part or did he really think Armstrong would let him test him 3 times a week?
2nd to this point. One might remember Lance had young Tyler Phinney sitting next to him as he announced the program. He used him as well. Clean generation and all that.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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i'd like to add to my above post that catlin's explanations regarding cost and complexity of armstrong monitoring are plausible even if the cost should not have been the limitation he personally needed to be concerned with. he was only referring to the reasons the negotiations failed...iirc, one of the conditions armstrong put forward was that astana pick up the bill as 'i already race for free' and it would be good for my image in the eyes of my detractors that i dont pay for my monitoring program' (not verbatim quote but close).

also, recall, astana was already monitored by damsgaard then and it was an additional hurdle...
 
Jul 19, 2009
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Bien dit !

thehog said:
Not what I heard. The program was always going to be dropped. It was just a way to soft land back into the sport. Armstrongs team knew that questions about the 6 EPO positives and all the drug references would come back. So he used Catlin as the initial front and once he was accepted back into the sport he dropped the program. By that time Comeback 2.0 was in full swing.

Question remains; did Catlin know he was going to be dropped and played his part or did he really think Armstrong would let him test him 3 times a week?
Total agreement.
Well said.
 
Dec 5, 2010
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You know what I find most telling about the 'Catlin Perspective'?

The fact its only existed since September 2010 - right about the time Novitzky started handing out subpoenas. Someone perhaps knowing they were about to be called upon to justify themselves and trying to get some public support?

This quote raises questions:

As negotiations were wrapping up, we did perform one collection prior to abandoning the program. The logistical and cost realities became immediately apparent. In addition, there were difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program.

They didn't know how much the program was likely to cost until they'd collected that first sample? Or they realised they would have to spend a large amount of time & money coming up with masking agents & techniques?

"difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program" - as in there was too much making it too hard to conceal things? I thought the whole idea was to GET publicity.
 
May 26, 2010
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Velocentric said:
You know what I find most telling about the 'Catlin Perspective'?

The fact its only existed since September 2010 - right about the time Novitzky started handing out subpoenas. Someone perhaps knowing they were about to be called upon to justify themselves and trying to get some public support?

This quote raises questions:

As negotiations were wrapping up, we did perform one collection prior to abandoning the program. The logistical and cost realities became immediately apparent. In addition, there were difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program.

They didn't know how much the program was likely to cost until they'd collected that first sample? Or they realised they would have to spend a large amount of time & money coming up with masking agents & techniques?

"difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program" - as in there was too much making it too hard to conceal things? I thought the whole idea was to GET publicity.
i doubt it was masking agents, but how much LA was doped and his figures were high and that Caitlin was not gonna put his reputation (whatever it maybe) on the line and lie for LA without big renumeration, who already had evidence of doping from the 1999 TdF.

whatever happened i dont think Caitlin comes out of this smelling of roses.
 
Aug 15, 2010
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Dr Don Catlin & Funding for Anti Doping Research Inc.

From their website:

http://www.antidopingresearch.org/about_adr.html

As a nonprofit organization, ADR is dependent on the support of committed individuals and organizations who share in its goals. ADR is grateful to the following major contributors, whose generous support makes ADR’s work possible: Amgen, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s Equine Drug Research Institute, Major League Baseball, the National Football League/National Football League Players Association Research & Education Foundation, and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Jus' sayin...
 
Aug 13, 2009
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python said:
catlin’s failure to monitor armstrong is a different subject altogether... suffice to say an old man was ‘taken for a ride’. he mistakenly thought he’ll be the captain of his ship in his own domain but he got outplayed by the legal professionals instructed to sign only ‘my way or highway”. had he been a more shrewd politician with better awareness of the manipulative nature of armstrong, he would have NEVER acceded to texas ploy. he failed !!

on catlin the man…he’s a quiet, careful, conservative individual far from naïve (naïve don’t testified in over 60 trials) who prefers non-flashy style but as far i know he's not immune to self advertising (particularly since he started his own business with his son) and not void of well deserved ambition. the last several words may explain his keen interest in working with armstrong. but he erred that he will be allowed to do it ‘catlin’s way’ by a control freak from texas.

i dont doubt for a moment catlin realized by now he was duped by a habitual doper he thought would not get away from a hunter with his reputation.

again, he erred.
Thanks for all of your great background info on testing Python.

The Catlin part of the SI article was especially hacked up by a nervous editor whose background is the gossip rags, not real journalism. I expect that part 2 will have more.

I have heard that Catlin told SI he tested Lance dozens of times. Interesting that he says that he would not know what samples he was testing but knows he tested Lance dozens of times.......maybe this was part of his "consulting service" with Stapleton?
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Thanks for all of your great background info on testing Python.

The Catlin part of the SI article was especially hacked up by a nervous editor whose background is the gossip rags, not real journalism. I expect that part 2 will have more.

I have heard that Catlin told SI he tested Lance dozens of times. Interesting that he says that he would not know what samples he was testing but knows he tested Lance dozens of times.......maybe this was part of his "consulting service" with Stapleton?


If that link is proven Novitsky has moved the fraud portion of the program into Armstrong's inner circle. That would be really bad if Stapleton is pitted against his former, er current client...or fun.
 
Oct 7, 2010
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Velocentric said:
You know what I find most telling about the 'Catlin Perspective'?

The fact its only existed since September 2010 - right about the time Novitzky started handing out subpoenas. Someone perhaps knowing they were about to be called upon to justify themselves and trying to get some public support?

This quote raises questions:

As negotiations were wrapping up, we did perform one collection prior to abandoning the program. The logistical and cost realities became immediately apparent. In addition, there were difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program.

They didn't know how much the program was likely to cost until they'd collected that first sample? Or they realised they would have to spend a large amount of time & money coming up with masking agents & techniques?

"difficulties with the publicity surrounding the program" - as in there was too much making it too hard to conceal things? I thought the whole idea was to GET publicity.
Taking this one step further, a possible conclusion after the first test, and possibly others not done through Catlin is that the old procedures used a few years ago would not work in Comeback 2.0. Thus, lack of results in said version.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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Merckx index said:
Excellent thread. But one question that still sticks out for me is, why was this request made in the first place? Is it normal for a cycling organization to request test information on a rider that goes back this far in time? If so, why? They would have to know when they made the request that the rider had not had any official positives during this period. So were they actually fishing for possibly incriminating information, which indeed came out? But why? What in the world would tip them off to the possibility of such information existing? And why would it matter, since no one outside the players involved ever would have known about this if not for the SI story.

I'm not surprised Catlin did not address the 6.5/1 sample. IIRC, the criterion for a red flag at that time was 6.0. I can certainly see how a sample that initially screened at 6.5 might on more careful confirmation testing prove to be below six. Even 7.6 is not that far out of the ballpark.

With regard to the other samples, Python says



The thing is, we don’t which test was actually flawed, the screening or the confirmation. One might argue that since screening is automated, it would be more reliable, but if that were really the case, confirmation would not require manual steps. Also, if I were a technician, and I knew that the screening had been positive (> 6), and I couldn’t confirm that, I would certainly review what I had done, and look for places where I might have made a mistake.

My reading of this is that it’s suggestive of doping, but not necessarily any indictment of Catlin or his lab’s technicians. As Python says, occasionally discrepancies occur, and we know that in Armstrong’s case there were a bunch of tests performed over that period of time.
Great post and very valid questions.

The timing of the request was in May 1999 - and that was just months after the USACycling top brass (including Weisel appointees) had taken over control from the ordinary USAC member.

Immediately after the meeting I received a telephone call from director Chuck Collins, who then faxed me a copy of the legislation. I exposed this scam to the membership via the internet the next morning. Five days later, USAC management issued a press release saying: "COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 4, 1999) -- At the bi-annual USA Cycling, Inc. Board of Directors meeting, held in Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 25-26, a modernized and streamlined set of bylaws was adopted (by a 10-1 vote). This allows for the more efficient operation of the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States."

The new bylaws certainly did allow more efficient operation inasmuch as the board of directors could do whatever they wanted without fear of retribution from the members, who were rendered powerless.
Sadly that does not answer your question - but were they checking to see if LA had anything outstanding or was the readon they requested the testosterone results "specifically" something to do with LA's cancer?
 
May 26, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Great post and very valid questions.

The timing of the request was in May 1999 - and that was just months after the USACycling top brass (including Weisel appointees) had taken over control from the ordinary USAC member.

Sadly that does not answer your question - but were they checking to see if LA had anything outstanding or was the readon they requested the testosterone results "specifically" something to do with LA's cancer?
does this hint at that they were trying to find out his levels to try and manage them for the 99 TdF at which we know his levels were high for which tested psoitive and then he produced a backdated TUE?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Francois the Postman said:
Merged. It's all fall-out of the same issue(s). Both are solid substance threads. Keep at it.
much appreciate yours and the other mods efforts at maintaining whatever sanity’s left in the clinic.
Race Radio said:
Thanks for all of your great background info on testing Python.
you’re welcome race. it could be quite confusing and misleading for an unbiased observer to make sense of all the si passages about catlin without the trade-specific analytical laboratory perspective i tried to draw.
Race Radio said:
The Catlin part of the SI article was especially hacked up by a nervous editor whose background is the gossip rags, not real journalism. I expect that part 2 will have more.
i don’t know much about the editor but i got an impression that the catlin story, though perhaps based on factual yet patchy evidence, was ‘remoulded’ to fit the general spirit of the article. there are enough contextual gaps in the article that in my mind could have yielded alternative explanations without necessarily implying catlin’s complicity. on the other hand, I got a feeling that catlin’s explanations regarding ’complexity’ of the t/e test had some artificial air to them. compared to what’s possible today and considering the history of the t/e test, it is NOT complex. and catlin being perhaps the second most accomplished anti doping steroid researcher, (after manfred doneke - the father of the t/e test) knows that as well as anyone…I’ll just leave it at that for now...:rolleyes:
Race Radio said:
I have heard that Catlin told SI he tested Lance dozens of times. Interesting that he says that he would not know what samples he was testing but knows he tested Lance dozens of times....…
again, this statement needs clarification and some context to drain it of any mystery as there is none. The si article said (direct quote):
‘From 1990 to 2000, Armstrong was tested more than two dozen times by Catlin's UCLA lab, according to Catlin's estimate'.There are open sources that allow a person with sufficient interest to run such an estimate too. One is mentioned often enough - usada’s on- line data base. Some members of this forum in fact perused it and took a shot at armstrong’s stats right here. another is Armstrong himself - his boastful interviews, books, tweets and what not, all mentioning specific dates. So there is no mystery in catlin estimating the number of Armstrong’s tests that may have passed through his lab. Remember, his was the only us wada lab until 2 years ago.
 
Apr 7, 2009
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python said:
there are enough contextual gaps in the article that in my mind could have yielded alternative explanations without necessarily implying catlin’s complicity. on the other hand, I got a feeling that catlin’s explanations regarding ’complexity’ of the t/e test had some artificial air to them. compared to what’s possible today and considering the history of the t/e test, it is NOT complex. and catlin being perhaps the second most accomplished anti doping steroid researcher, (after manfred doneke - the father of the t/e test) knows that as well as anyone…I’ll just leave it at that for now...:rolleyes:
Here's where it gets fuzzy...You say the T/E test is not complex, therefore the labs should have no problems running the T/E tests. Yet in Floyds case, the first arbitration declared that the lab definitely screwed up the first T/E test. So maybe it is more complex.

Which is it? Or do mistakes happen on a regular basis? And if the test is easy to run, not complex and we all assume they 'are all' doping they are probably using Test, how come SO FEW positive Testosterone findings?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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mwbyrd said:
Here's where it gets fuzzy...You say the T/E test is not complex, therefore the labs should have no problems running the T/E tests. Yet in Floyds case, the first arbitration declared that the lab definitely screwed up the first T/E test. So maybe it is more complex.

Which is it? Or do mistakes happen on a regular basis? And if the test is easy to run, not complex and we all assume they 'are all' doping they are probably using Test, how come SO FEW positive Testosterone findings?
you need to read the thread as the answers are right here and a great effort has already been expanded to clarify many things.
 

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