Friday, February 13, 2009


By Pedro Horrillo original published in El Pais in Spanish

Mr. Adams entered my life at the same moment as we started the new year, on January 1st, 2008. To tell the truth, I never approved of him, but he didn't seem to care: he had come to stay and was aware that I knew it. Also, he certainly knew that I could never reject him. Ours has been since then a relationship full of ups and downs – something predictable in any forced relationship- but keeping no secrets at all. I have always told him everything I have done,whom with, where, when, whenever I come and go... Of course it is not the case, but if by any chance it occurred to me, let alone lying to him – that would be really serious – but hiding something from him or telling him just a half-truth – it is the same for me – God help me if he ever finds out ! Then I would be risking the whole family and their bread and butter. Mr. Adam's shadow is very long, extremely long.

So you'd better not take it to heart as living with Adams is not easy at all. That's why we cyclists usually make jokes about the matter and mean to send a message to brother Adams when we think of going to the pictures, for instance. Of course you are free to go out without telling him, although in that case you'd rather pay attention to your mobile phone, select the silence mode and be ready to leave the cinema, may he happen to visit your house. To go to the pictures, for a walk with some friends, play with the kids in the park, have dinner in a restaurant, any situation you like you have to act the same way.

And now a year since our first encounter, in another turn of the screw, Mr. Adams makes me give him daily notice of the exact place and the time that I will be available for him.

If he turns up and I am not there, I will have a big problem, even if my absence is justified.

So that´s how things stand. To begin with, I am of the opinion that random drug testing are one of the most effective ways to fight against fraud. Even though most of them are mere red blood cell extractions for the biological passport program and not doping tests, strictly speaking. But Adams' demands wear me out, they overwhelm and saturate me to the extent that sometimes, out of rebelliousness, I just provide him with the minimum necessary information.

What a rebellion!, you might think. Still I can't nor should complain about it, as we, the cyclists have accepted taking part in that programme and its consequences. And on the other hand, being a sportsperson, I have undertaken the same commitment with my team under contract.

The irony of fate! I started riding the bike because nothing else had ever given me such sense of freedom before. I carried on cycling, free as a bird, and eventually managed to make a living (of it). It is everybody's dream to be able to work in something you love. And all thanks to the bike.

However, I have never felt so inhibited like now when it comes to make decisions. I am not free to improvise in my own life, to hesitate, to make hasty and last minute plans. That is over, freedom is no longer there. Well...not exactly, some people say, you always have the option to get a computer, search for a conexion and voilé! Adams is changed. Or even better, to send an sms. For some people it is basically the same thing, but not for me. If you'll pardon the expression, I call this the being given the third degree.

So that is how it is and far from complaining, I chose to accept it. Given the choice between adapt or die, I prefer the first one, because I want to be a cyclist as long as possible, therefore, I won't pay heed to your attempts to put off my desire to continue, Mr. Adams.

* Adams: Antidoping Administration & Managing System

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lance Armstrong, $3 million and the silence of the Rann

Bob Gosford writes from Yuendumu: (from

Lance Armstrong went to Adelaide for a fortnight in January. While there he spoke to a few cancer charities, visited hospitals, charity fund-raisers and cancer victims, and schmoozed with Kevin Rudd, a fawning South Australian Premier Mike Rann, assorted SA Ministers and half the population of Adelaide.

Oh, and between schmoozes he rode around on his bike for seven days during the Tour Down Under.

For his troubles he trousered a wedge understood to be up to $AU3 million in cash.

As an anonymous tipster told Crikey in mid-January:

The SA Government are paying Lance Armstrong USD $1 million to appear at the Pro Tour. USD $500k has been paid up front, with the balance after the race. Think back a few months when it was announced somewhat prematurely that Lance was on his way.

Neither Rann nor Armstrong have denied the figure of $US1 million ($AU1.52 million). While Crikey was in Adelaide there were strong rumours among the media and others closely connected to the race that the figure was more like $US2 million ($AU3.05 million).

Armstrong and 186 other professional cyclists came to South Australia to ride in the Tour Down Under -- Australia's premier cycling road race event and part of the l'Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Pro-tour.

That Armstrong would be paid at least $1US million large to talk about cancer research, a matter close to his heart, attracted a lot of attention, particularly within the world cycling community. Particularly when the wages of the peloton, the riders that make up the bulk of the pro-cycling community, are reported to have fallen by up to 40% in recent years.

The Boulder Report at the website noted: one's talking. South Australia Premier Mike Rann refused to discuss any negotiations, and other than saying that any money paid "will go to his charity," Rann's spokesman, Lachlan Parker, declined to discuss the matter further with reporters.

...Why's this a big deal? Armstrong is an in demand public speaker, commanding at least $175,000 per engagement.

...It's less the donation than the secrecy surrounding it that seems strange and excessive…But [appearance fees] made with taxpayer dollars, in an ostensibly democratic and open government, fit a different standard of disclosure.


But in South Australia, as is common in too many Australian jurisdictions, answers to questions about what should be publicly available information are deemed "commercial-in-confidence".

The only way you or I will get any closer to the truth is via an expensive, and most likely unsuccessful, Freedom of Information application or if the Opposition asks the right questions during Parliamentary estimates. Neither is satisfactory in the short term or in keeping with the spirit of "ostensibly democratic and open government."

Lachlan Parker's story that the payment to Armstrong was a donation to charity, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, was soon given the lie by Armstrong himself.

As The New York Times reported, Armstrong:

...did not specify the amount of his fee but said Saturday that, contrary to what had been reported here last week, he was not donating the fee to his foundation but treating it as income, the same way he has his other speaking and appearance fees since retirement.

"It's not simply showing up to a bike race and getting paid to race the bike," he said. "I'm not being paid to race. Is there a fee for other things? Yes, but that's not any different than what I've done for the last three years or four years, actually longer than that."

The SA Government -- i.e., the SA taxpayer – is the sole sponsor of the Tour Down Under.

Armstrong has provided an undoubted boost to the public profile of the Tour Down Under and to the worthy cause of cancer research in Australia. Whether his presence made any impact on the SA economy is but one of a number of outstanding questions about the overall cost of the event.

Other questions as yet unanswered include whether the SA economy really got the big 'bang for its buck' that Rann has trumpeted, the total costs involved in staging this year's Tour Down Under and how much Armstrong, and others involved in the Tour, were paid to participate.

That last issue is what Crikey has been trying to confirm for the last week and half.

Crikey sent a brief list of questions to Rann and his media minder Lachlan Parker and to SA Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith. We first sent the questions on 3 February, again on 6 February and again yesterday, advising that this story would be published today.

Up until late yesterday we'd received not a whisper in reply. After we'd advised we were going to run with this story today we finally received the following from Leah Manuel, Jane Lomax-Smith's media minder:

Any payments associated with teams or cyclists taking part in the Tour Down Under are commercial in confidence. This has been the case since the inception of the race 11 years ago.

Another question that Rann and the Australian Taxation Office could be asked is whether the ATO got its slice of Armstrong's income from the SA government.

As the Indian Cricket team found out to its horror in late 2007, the ATO is particularly attentive to earnings in Australia by foreign sportsmen and women.

As the Explanatory Memorandum to the Taxation Administration Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 1) notes:

Foreign resident entertainers and sportspersons who derive income in Australia are liable to pay income tax in Australia on that income ... [t]hey are required to lodge an income tax return in Australia.

Dependent upon whether the SA government made the payment to Armstrong personally or to some corporate or charitable entity associated with him, it may have been required to:

...retain an amount and pay that amount to the ATO under section 255 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

But, regardless of how much, and to whom or what the South Australian government paid the money, Armstrong clearly saw that money as his own.

And, as Armstrong told the gathered press in Adelaide, he'll be back for the Tour Down Under in 2010.

There are more than a few wondering what his fee will be next year.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tour de France team budgets, 1989-2008

Interesting post from Kadisco regarding Tour de France team budgets, 1989-2008

Interesting in the light of the fact that rider's salaries seemed to have fallen 40% over the last few years and that despite the globalsiation of cycling and the Armstrong effect cycling hasn't kept pace with other sports.

The March 1989 issue of VeloNews - reproduced on page 18 of the January 2009 issue - estimated budgets for some of the era’s leading teams: Cafe de Colombia, PDM, Panasonic, etc. In 2008 dollars, the average of the 9 teams on the list that contested the ‘89 Tour is $6.12 million. According to VeloNews’ 2008 Tour de France guide, last year’s average budget was $10.64 million. Presumably those are official numbers released by ASO.

Although the comparison between 1989 and 2008 dollars is pretty solid, there’s a lot of uncertainty in using that as a basis to compare a bunch of 1989 currencies to the 2008 Euro. But I can’t think of a better comparison, so let’s say that team budgets increased 74% in real terms between 1989 and 2008. There are some numbers out there for rider salaries in 1989 (New York Times) and 2008 (Wall Street Journal), but the I’d consider the reporting of those to be less accurate.

Here is some context. IEG estimated that 2007 global sponsorship spending totaled $37.9 billion, a 425% increase compared to 1989 spending, as estimated in a report conducted by Sponsorship Research International in 1998. Again, lots of uncertainty. It’s worth noting that both reports estimated sports sponsorships to be about 2/3 of total spending.

To be fair, there are major sponsorship outlets today - like the UFC and action sports - that barely existed in 1989. Market fragmentation and statistical uncertainties aside, I think it’s fair to say that cycling team budgets have not kept pace with the global sponsorship marketplace. But that might be a good thing. Despite the doping scandals, a $10 million price tag to access the global platform of the Tour de France remains saleable, even in the currrent economy. It’s a hard sell, but at least it’s possible. At $35 million, probably not.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Operacion Puerto says cyclists have not defrauded sponsors

A quote from last year's Spanish Court decision to re open Puerto regarding the CPA's claim that cyclists had engaged in fraud against their sponsors etc:

"When it is notorious that for many years there has been talk of irregular practices, when there have been cyclists who have died from the consumption of drugs, frequent disqualifications and sanctions, when cycling is the mirror which other sports look into with fear, when it is known that the caravans and logistic premises of cycling teams have been searched for stimulants, when random controls are necessary after each race or stage, and the cycling teams have their own specialist doctors, to affirm that the cyclists have defrauded those who have contracted them is to close one's eyes to reality. When there is no accord regarding those practices, which bring them substantial benefits as a result of associating their brand name with the glory of victory of a famous cyclist, there exists, at least, on the party of those contracting with the cyclists, a deliberate ignorance, a “I don´t want to know” attitude, incompatible with the idea of serious fraud.

Additionally, it is very significant that despite the publicity given to this prosecution, no professional cycling team nor any brand name advertised by cyclists have intervened in the proceedings. Perhaps, in other sports fields and geographical environments where sportspersons are paid to be a model for young people, such kind of practices can be considered as deceitful, and even then, they may not fit within the fraud concept held by Spanish legislation. Under the Spanish law, it does not seem to be an offense at all except in the roundabout hypothesis of the appellants."

Friday, February 6, 2009

La fusión de las vueltas es, según Astarloza, «un síntoma de la crisis»

Anger grows over anti-doping code

By Matt Slater

Wada boss John Fahey
Wada chairman John Fahey has made implementation of the code his priority

Leading members of Team GB are so concerned by the revised "whereabouts" anti-doping system they may quit, a senior Olympic official believes.

Pete Gardner, chief executive of the British Athletes Commission (BAC), believes stricter rules brought in this year must be reversed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cycling in the Age of Empire.

Cycling is a game in flux. It is not the myth or an epic as Roland Barthes wrote. Mont Ventoux is a moonscape, bare, barren and rising out of the lavender plains of Provence. They are no longer heroes of epic proportions but bare life, homo sacer competing for all to see in the desert of the real. The precarity of this existence better depicts the state of the peloton today: Free as the birds to soar to the greatest heights– Simpson, Pantani, Armstrong et al … the list is endless; but free to be shot down at a whim.

Cycling has always been an assemblage and a line of flight – from the factory, the farm, from the peloton itself. Cycling finds itself in the eye of the storm as the processes of globalisation seek to reform it in their own image. On the frontline is the very body of the cyclist – this is the object of control.

We need to contextualise the globalisation of professional cycling in the age of Armstrong and the successive doping crisis as events which signify the coming of Empire and the permanent state of exception.

Does the compulsory reporting system violate athlete autonomy?

Here is the part of the article by Hanstad and Loland that I feel is a little weak in its analysis.

The relevant point that Foucault was making in his discussions of surveillance was not that it was "a Big Brother-system where the athletes are being watched covertly", but that those under surveillance felt as if that surveillance was constant. That is they took on the role of controlling themselves as they felt they were being constantly watched. Hanstad and Loland seems to miss this point when they dismiss objections to the whereabouts system.

Does the compulsory reporting system violate athlete autonomy?

The discussion on fairness and justice is also connected to questions regarding principles of autonomy and the right to self-determination. Even if elite athletes accept strict rules in anti-doping work, it seems clear that the compulsory whereabouts system is pushing the limits in terms of athlete privacy. A Norwegian Olympic medallist reported in our study:

It is a system that is based on everyone being sinners. It is created by people with good intentions and a decent goal, but they miss completely and abuse their power in a way that in no other democratic organ than sports would ever achieve approval. Systems like these belong in very different political systems than that which is called democracy.

Another athlete called it an encroachment and considered the system an infringement on their right to move freely and live a spontaneous life. In the Norwegian study, one out of four athletes responded that the joy of elite sport is reduced by anti-doping surveillance and measures such as this one. One athlete went further and claimed that after the new restrictions it will be a relief to quit. And every fourth athlete strongly supported the claim that this was a “Big Brother system”. Such a perception is strengthened by the system not only affecting the individual's life as an athlete, but also their whole lives, as athletes are monitored all year round, also in leisure and holidays. In an interview with the newspaper Expressen, the Swedish Olympic heptathlon champion, Carolina Kluumlft, said that the system is turning her into a nervous wreck: “it is bloody uncomfortable to know that my sloppiness and my spontaneity can make me equivalent to someone who uses drugs” (Roos, 2006). Half jokingly, she suggested having a data chip implanted into her body so that the doping controllers could monitor her at all times!

The reactions to the compulsory reporting system as unacceptable surveillance and infringements on privacy and autonomy seem more cogent than the criticism about justice. Athlete frustrations are understandable. The life of a high-profile athlete is one of intense pressure, characterized by routines from morning to evening. They are part of a team where each individual athlete has to relate to the support system that can consist of coaches, managers, physiotherapists, masseurs, nutritional experts, psychologists, and technologists. Furthermore, the media and sponsors require their attention. Athletes' quest for some privacy in their spare time is not unreasonable. But again there is a need for clarification on ideas of autonomy and the right to privacy and self-determination.

The understanding of human beings as autonomous is fundamental in the Western world and a central theme in fields such as political philosophy, law, and ethics (Beauchamp, 1991). The understanding is based on Kantian thoughts of the human being as a potentially free and rational being who can choose without external force and consequently be held responsible for his or her own choices. The human being is viewed as a moral agent.

To claim autonomy as a moral agent in various contexts is, however, accompanied by a duty to allow other human beings the same autonomy and status. The consequences of acknowledging all human beings as moral agents will often lead to regulation of behaviour and limitations of individual choice. For example, every liberal, democratic society has more or less tight safety nets to safeguard autonomy and the right to self-determination for individuals in vulnerable situations: the chronically ill, the unemployed, people with different kinds of disabilities. In most of our social institutions and practices, we find a number of limitations on individual choices. Whether we are talking about traffic regulations, surveillance in the public sphere or anti-doping regulations in sport, an important part of the justification is to look after all individuals' freedom of choice - their autonomy.

However, the need to regulate can go too far. In modern societies, surveillance regimes have increased in scope and complexity. In the globalized, high-tech Western world, each individual leaves a large number of electronic traces every day. Internet use and emails can be tracked, card companies know when and where we shop, the telecommunications companies possess detailed information about phone conversations and public video surveillance, and automatic toll recorders register our movements.

These developments are controversial and are criticized. Foucault's work on surveillance and punishment forms one critical approach to this system of surveillance. For Foucault, the panoptic prison appears as a model for development in Western society (Foucault, 1977). At the end of the 1700s, the philosopher Jeremy Bentham drew towards the model prison Panopticon, designed to keep prisoners under constant visual surveillance. The intentions were good, in that punishment was no longer to be seen as revenge and banishment to dark cells, but rather should build on humanity and serve the good of society. But Foucault points to the opposite consequences. Constant surveillance brings far more subtle, disciplining, and “normalizing” processes that more effectively than ever reduce the individual's opportunity for autonomy and right to self-determination.

As such, it is a paradox that a study from 2005 shows that the Norwegian population in general is hardly worried about abuse of personal information of this kind (Ravlum, 2005). This may be due to limited knowledge of how extensive this control actually is, but it may also reflect the fact that everyday surveillance of individuals takes a passive form (Fornyings- og administrasjonsdepartementet, 2006).

The reactions are stronger where the surveillance is obvious or where it demands an active contribution from the person under surveillance. One example is electronic “tagging” of prisoners. In some countries, prisoners can serve their sentence in their home by carrying an electronic ankle bracelet that makes it possible to track all movement. In Norway, draft legislation proposes that violent stalkers can be equipped with electronic devices that give an alarm if the person approaches a potential victim (Justis- og politidepartementet, 2006). Another example is compulsory reporting, which demands an active contribution from the person being watched. There are, in particular, two groups who have such obligations: some convicted felons who are to be controlled before or after serving their sentence, and elite athletes.

Initially, athletes have committed no crime or rule violation but have to meet the demands of compulsory whereabouts reporting just because they might violate the rules. This is without doubt unusual. Our survey results also indicate that some athletes see the compulsory reporting as even more problematic than the surveillance of everyday life. But the comparison brings forth two significant differences from everyday surveillance that might be cited in support of the whereabouts system. First, athletes themselves have to submit all the information about where they are, and second, violation of the regulations is followed by clearly defined consequences. This can hardly be described as a Big Brother-system where the athletes are being watched covertly. The whereabouts system is clearly detectable and open, and all athletes know the consequences of violation. There is a difference here between the criminal being electronically monitored as well, since athletes can withdraw from the surveillance. The point argued by, among others, Rune Andersen of the WADA, of sport as a voluntary practice in this fundamental sense is a relevant one.

On these grounds, it is difficult to claim that the system involves any violations of the athletes' autonomy and right to self-determination. Quite the opposite: compulsory reporting of whereabouts will make the anti-doping work more effective. If anti-doping work in general protects the athletes' autonomy and right to self-determination, the whereabouts system will strengthen these values.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Norwegian study on Athlete Whereabouts system

This article is interesting but it doesn't really do justice to the arguments against the whereabouts system. The authors promise an empirical study in the near future. If anyone wants a copy to read email me.I'll post some notes on the article after re-reading it.

Elite athletes' duty to provide information on their whereabouts: Justifiable anti-doping work or an indefensible surveillance regime?

Authors: Dag Vidar Hanstad a; Sigmund Loland a

Affiliation: a Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

DOI: 10.1080/17461390802594219

Published in: journal European Journal of Sport Science, Volume 9, Issue 1 January 2009 , pages 3 - 10
Subject: Sport & Exercise Science;


In this article, we explain and reflect critically upon the athlete whereabouts reporting system in top-level sports initiated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This system makes it compulsory for athletes who are in a registered testing pool in their national and/or international federation to submit information about their whereabouts. In this way, athletes are required to be available for a no advance notice doping test throughout the year. If an athlete provides incorrect information or cannot be found when a no advance notice test is supposed to be taken (a missed test), he or she may be given a warning. In most sports and national anti-doping regulations, three such warnings within 18 months may be regarded as a violation of the doping regulations and may lead to exclusion from sport for between 3 months and 2 years. The system is controversial. In this article, we examine the key objections to the system and, more specifically, objections connected to ideas of justice and athletes' autonomy and right to self-determination. The argument will be a practical ethical one informed by a survey on attitudes towards the whereabouts system carried out among 236 athletes belonging to the registered testing pool in Norway. We conclude that if the basic principles of anti-doping work are accepted, WADA's whereabouts reporting system represents nothing other than an efficient extension of this work.

Keywords: Anti-doping; elite athletes; whereabouts reporting system; surveillance

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


and the current faves post cera seem to be

Luteinizing hormone

Adrenocorticotropic hormone



Coyle and Armstrong

If you have read LA Confidential or D. Walsh's book Lance to Landis .... you would have seen that Greg Lemond was sceptical about the work of Dr Coyle.

The Science of Sport has posted some reviews of Coyle's work which calls it into doubt ...

Coyle and Armstrong: Research "errors" evaluation

The Coyle study on Armstrong: A "minor error" or a scientific "hoax?" Analysis and insight

Coyle-Armstrong research installment 2

The "error" is discovered, thanks to scientific detective work

Coyle continued

"I made a mistake." Now get a job"...Fact and philosophy

Monday, February 2, 2009

Doping and Australian Professional Cycling: Attitudes, Issues and a Pathway to a New Approach.

version en español

Submission to the Commonwealth Department of Health Anti Doping Research Program by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law

Project Summary

Cycling has a reputation as having an entrenched doping culture existing within a closed community where some bending of the rules has been seen as historically permissible, if not required in order to cope with the exceptional nature of its events. The closed nature of the peloton is regarded as being one of the greatest challenges for any intervention initiated from the outside (see Dauncey, 2003; Schneider, 2006). The objective of this research is to examine the attitudes of Australia professional cyclists ("the Australian peloton") and those that they interact with including team managers and staff, sporting and medical advisors, sporting administrators, sponsors and government (“their cohort”). This research is critical given the current doping policy paradigm, its operation, effectiveness and limitations. This study seeks to identify factors which lead to the current anti doping regime to be less effective than desired and to propose practical measures to increase that effectiveness.

Currently the Australian peloton includes at least 30 members racing in European based professional teams and another 80 members riding in continental professional teams outside of Europe. In 2007, Australia was ranked 3rd in the world and 4th following the 2008 World Championships. Given the long history of interaction between professional cycling in Australia and the rest of the world, particularly Europe, the Australia peloton provides an experienced but manageable sized group with which to engage in order to undertake such a project. Furthermore, given the history of interaction with Europe and other parts of the cycling world, there is nothing to suggest that the Australia situation vis a vis doping and attitudes to anti-doping policy are any different within the Australian peloton than any other highly ranked cycling nation.

Over the past decade the sport has been subjected to a number of internal crises and increasing external scrutiny. Nevertheless the problem of doping and how effectively to deal with it remain an important and unresolved issue. The last ten years have seen increased scrutiny of professional cycling, in a large part due to the events of the 1998 Tour de France involving the Festina and other teams. In fact this event is in part credited with the movement towards the formation of WADA. More recently there has been the Operacion Puerto enquiry in Spain, and the successive problems associated with the last three editions of the Tour de France (2006 – Landis; 2007 – Rasmussen, Vinokourov, Mayo; 2008 - Kohl, Schumacher, Ricco & Piepoli) which have raised the issue as to the effectiveness of current anti doping policy and its attempts at changing behaviour in relation to doping practices within cycling.

The observations of Schneider (2006) concerning the closed nature of the peloton as a barrier to change are enlightening in the context of the developments of anti-doping policy over the last 10 years. During this time outside intervention has taken the form of criminal investigations, the development of a World Anti Doping Agency and Code, the changing nature and frequency of testing within cycling and the development of biological passports. As can be seen from this brief list, anti doping policy has been concerned primarily with detection, investigation, prosecution and punishment. In short, anti doping has been a policing activity, and as such it appears to have failed to engage those who are the objects of that activity, nor has it led to broad cultural change within the sport. It is arguable that these measures have in fact contributed towards the peloton becoming even more closed and as a result incapable of fully grasping the nature of the changes occurring within the sport.

Without engaging cyclists (other than as objects of surveillance and prosecution) it is arguable that it is becoming evident to sporting administrators that the current anti doping policy pursued within the sport of cycling is not as effective as it could be and has not as yet led to widespread cultural change of attitudes within the peloton. Without more education it is arguable that such a policy is unsustainable. This is compounded when it is noted that a great deal of the current policy has been formulated as a result of media and related crises within cycling. Schneider (2006) has remarked that the history of the nature of the problem of doping in cycling is constructed in large part from the extensive media coverage of it. As a result of policy being media or crisis driven it appears that little sociological or legal research has been undertaken which considers the relationship between those who are the object of this policing and those who are doing the policing.

Due to the forces of globalisation there are real processes occurring which interact with and effect the development of elite sport policy globally. The current context and changes occurring within professional cycling may well be characterised as processes of structural re-adjustment whereby the old European based cycling economy is being subjected to the pressures of the globalisation of the sport. Anti-doping policy and the fact that cycling is in the ‘eye of the storm’ has to be viewed within this context. These factors not only include the substantive policy framework in terms of an increasingly global anti doping legislative regime but also the discursive construction of those processes within subsystems, communities and the media. As both Houlihan (2005) and Schneider (2006) have noted to some extent, it is the discursive constructions that tend to shape and mediate policy production processes. Dauncey (2003) has also recognised that cycling has a particularly complicated normative framework or frameworks. He has identified at least four normative frameworks that constrain and direct participation in an event such as the Tour de France including the rules of the race, the rules of society, culture and politics, international views on sports and ethics and the internal rules of the peloton itself. Within these frameworks there exist a number of groups that form a broad policy community or communities. However, not all actors within the purview of such communities are able to openly voice their concerns within such a community, especially when one of those policy communities, the peloton, seeks to protect its interests through silence.

In undertaking this research the project will adopt and apply the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) developed by Houlihan (2005) in his work on elite sports policy development. The ACF framework will also be informed by practice, context and the notions of reflexive sociology pursued by Bourdieu (1992, 1990). The ACF focuses upon identifying the dominant policy paradigms that set the parameters for any policy change and the discursive story lines or rationales of those involved in or affected by policy development. Finally the ACF model proposes the concept of policy brokerage in order to engage those involved in and affected by policy changes in order to achieve the neatest possible marriage between the rhetoric of the policy and the reality of the practice it seeks to address.

Full Text of Submission

Sunday, February 1, 2009

DNA Testing, Right to Private and Family Life and Limitations on Rights

Extract from the European Court of Human Rights Decision:

Case of S. and Marper v. The United Kingdom


The case of S and Marper v United Kingdom considered whether the retention of DNA and fingerprints from innocent people is consistent with human rights law.

This case will be particularly informative for the interpretation and application of s 13 (privacy) and s 7 (limitations) of the Victorian Charter (Australia).


The first applicant, Mr S, was charged with attempted robbery at the age of eleven. His fingerprints and DNA samples were taken and he was subsequently acquitted.

The second applicant, Mr Marper, was arrested and charged with harassment of his partner. His fingerprints and DNA sample were taken. The charge was not pressed and the case was formally discontinued.

Both applicants asked for their fingerprints and DNA samples to be destroyed, but in both cases,the police refused.


In making its decision, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights considered the following

1. whether the retention by the authorities of the applicants’ fingerprints, DNA profiles and cellular samples constituted an interference in their private life; and

2. if so, whether the interference was: (a) in accordance with the law; (b) in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and (c) necessary in a democratic society.

The Grand Chamber decided that the retention of both cellular samples and DNA profiles constituted an interference with the right to respect for the private lives of the applicants within the meaning of art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The mere storing of data relating to the private life of an individual amounts to an interference.

Further, the Grand Chamber found that the interference was not justified. In this regard, the

Grand Chamber stated:

the blanket and indiscriminate nature of the powers of retention of the fingerprints, cellular samples and DNA profiles of persons suspected but not convicted of offences,fails to strike a fair balance between the competing public and private interests.

Accordingly, the retention constituted a disproportionate interference with the applicants’right to respect for private life and cannot be regarding as necessary in a democratic society.


A. Council of Europe texts

# The Council of Europe Convention of 1981 for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data (“the Data Protection Convention”), which entered into force for the United Kingdom on 1 December 1987, defines “personal data” as any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual (“data subject”). The Convention provides inter alia:

“Article 5 – Quality of data

Personal data undergoing automatic processing shall be: ...

b. stored for specified and legitimate purposes and not used in a way incompatible with those purposes;

c. adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are stored;


e. preserved in a form which permits identification of the data subjects for no longer than is required for the purpose for which those data are stored.

Article 6 – Special categories of data

Personal data revealing racial origin, political opinions or religious or other beliefs, as well as personal data concerning health or sexual life, may not be processed automatically unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards. (...)

Article 7 – Data security

Appropriate security measures shall be taken for the protection of personal data stored in automated data files against accidental or unauthorised destruction or accidental loss as well as against unauthorised access, alteration or dissemination.”

# Recommendation No. R(87)15 regulating the use of personal data in the police sector (adopted on 17 September 1987) states, inter alia:

“Principle 2 – Collection of data

2.1 The collection of personal data for police purposes should be limited to such as is necessary for the prevention of a real danger or the suppression of a specific criminal offence. Any exception to this provision should be the subject of specific national legislation. ...

Principle 3 - Storage of data

3.1. As far as possible, the storage of personal data for police purposes should be limited to accurate data and to such data as are necessary to allow police bodies to perform their lawful tasks within the framework of national law and their obligations arising from international law....

Principle 7 - Length of storage and updating of data

7.1. Measures should be taken so that personal data kept for police purposes are deleted if they are no longer necessary for the purposes for which they were stored.

For this purpose, consideration shall in particular be given to the following criteria: the need to retain data in the light of the conclusion of an inquiry into a particular case; a final judicial decision, in particular an acquittal; rehabilitation; spent convictions; amnesties; the age of the data subject, particular categories of data.”

# Recommendation No. R(92)1 on the use of analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) within the framework of the criminal justice system (adopted on 10 February 1992) states, inter alia:

“3. Use of samples and information derived therefrom

Samples collected for DNA analysis and the information derived from such analysis for the purpose of the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences must not be used for other purposes. ...

Samples taken for DNA analysis and the information so derived may be needed for research and statistical purposes. Such uses are acceptable provided the identity of the individual cannot be ascertained. Names or other identifying references must therefore be removed prior to their use for these purposes.

4. Taking of samples for DNA analysis

The taking of samples for DNA analysis should only be carried out in circumstances determined by the domestic law; it being understood that in some states this may necessitate specific authorisation from a judicial authority...

8. Storage of samples and data

Samples or other body tissue taken from individuals for DNA analysis should not be kept after the rendering of the final decision in the case for which they were used, unless it is necessary for purposes directly linked to those for which they were collected.

Measures should be taken to ensure that the results of DNA analysis are deleted when it is no longer necessary to keep it for the purposes for which it was used. The results of DNA analysis and the information so derived may, however, be retained where the individual concerned has been convicted of serious offences against the life, integrity or security of persons. In such cases strict storage periods should be defined by domestic law.

Samples and other body tissues, or the information derived from them, may be stored for longer periods:

- when the person so requests; or

- when the sample cannot be attributed to an individual, for example when it is found at the scene of a crime;

Where the security of the state is involved, the domestic law of the member state may permit retention of the samples, the results of DNA analysis and the information so derived even though the individual concerned has not been charged or convicted of an offence. In such cases strict storage periods should be defined by domestic law. ...”

# The Explanatory Memorandum to the Recommendation stated, as regards item 8:

“47. The working party was well aware that the drafting of Recommendation 8 was a delicate matter, involving different protected interests of a very difficult nature. It was necessary to strike the right balance between these interests. Both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Data Protection Convention provide exceptions for the interests of the suppression of criminal offences and the protection of the rights and freedoms of third parties. However, the exceptions are only allowed to the extent that they are compatible with what is necessary in a democratic society. ...

49. Since the primary aim of the collection of samples and the carrying out of DNA analysis on such samples is the identification of offenders and the exoneration of suspected offenders, the data should be deleted once persons have been cleared of suspicion. The issue then arises as to how long the DNA findings and the samples on which they were based can be stored in the case of a finding of guilt.

50. The general rule should be that the data are deleted when they are no longer necessary for the purposes for which they were collected and used. This would in general be the case when a final decision has been rendered as to the culpability of the offender. By 'final decision' the CAHBI thought that this would normally, under domestic law, refer to a judicial decision. However, the working party recognised that there was a need to set up data bases in certain cases and for specific categories of offences which could be considered to constitute circumstances warranting another solution, because of the seriousness of the offences. The working party came to this conclusion after a thorough analysis of the relevant provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Data Protection Convention and other legal instruments drafted within the framework of the Council of Europe. In addition, the working party took into consideration that all member states keep a criminal record and that such record may be used for the purposes of the criminal justice system... It took into account that such an exception would be permissible under certain strict conditions:

- when there has been a conviction;

- when the conviction concerns a serious criminal offence against the life, integrity and security of a person;

- the storage period is limited strictly;

- the storage is defined and regulated by law;

- the storage is subject to control by Parliament or an independent supervisory body...”


DNA, Human Rights and The Criminal Justice System

DNA, Human Rights and The Criminal Justice System

[1997] AJHR 11; (1997) 3(2) AJHR 208

Hocking, Barbara Ann; McCallum, Hamish; Smith, Alison; Butler, Chris

Legal Challenge to Athletes Whereabouts System

A number of news reports concerning the legal challenge to the Whereabouts system in Europe. Let's keep an eye on this.

BBC Legal threat to anti-doping code

IHT Doping notes: WADA seeks special meeting

ESPN WADA: We'll discuss 'whereabouts' rule

FIFPro Legal Threat to anti doping code

The blood profiles of cyclists are providing evidence of doping

Nicole Jeffery, doping | January 27, 2009

Article from: The Australian

THE first case of a cyclist being charged with doping on the evidence of his blood profile is expected to be prosecuted in the coming months, according to Australian anti-doping expert Robin Parisotto.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has been building up blood profiles of its professional cyclists by taking thousands of blood samples over the past year.

Canberra scientist Parisotto, who sits on the UCI panel overseeing the anti-doping program, said yesterday more than 30 suspicious samples had been analysed and there was enough evidence to pursue a handful of riders for doping violations.

"We are only collating the results now but I expect in the next few months the UCI will be taking action against some cyclists," Parisotto said.

The blood profiling is designed to identify any cyclists using banned drugs or methods which manipulate the blood to improve endurance. He said suspicious samples usually contained high haemoglobin levels, or unusually low levels (which would indicate a cyclist was extracting blood to be re-injected during competition).

"There are discussions now about which are the strongest cases to go after," Parisotto said.

"There's only a handful they can confidently follow up. But I believe in some cases the results are fairly strong and the athlete will have a hard time explaining them."

The first cycling case will be a test for this new method of identifying drug cheats.

Parisotto said there was a smaller number of suspicious samples than he would have expected if the program had been in operation three or four years earlier.

"Now there is more of an effort being made to weed out the cheats and I think some of them are getting scared," he said.

"The risk of getting caught is becoming much greater now that they have to worry about what's in their blood."

Parisotto, who developed one of the first tests for the blood booster EPO in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics, is also working on the next weapon in the anti-doping war, genetic profiling.

"The technology is there now to do gene profiling on blood tests," Parisotto said.

He said any use of blood doping would show up in changes to an individual's gene activity.

The laboratories will just have to chart the abnormal changes that the drugs make to the blood and genes of the athlete.