I can assure you that the IAAF would not pick this timing for such a revelation, for the very reasons you state.
Yet the timing is obviously more than just a coincidence. It has Dick Pound's signature all over it. Probably discretely has been leaking clues for several weeks based on hearsay- then the L.A. Times this morning said they started an investigation a while ago based on scattered facts that were 'handed' to them by anonymous parties-.
When he won the 400 yesterday, it was obviously the trigger to "go with the story" whether you feel you had all the ducks in line or not. Once one newspaper went with it, all the rest who had been looking into it immediately felt they couldn't wait any longer either.
Of course the whole thing stinks. Even the Times headline read 'athlete failed drug test in 1999'.
Completely ignores the fact that a reversed finding is not considered a failed drug test- until you get deep into the story and it's finally explained.
Just cheap journalism that's all.
I DO grant the Times some credit though for concentrating more on the international PERCEPTION of U.S. anti-doping efforts, rather than the specifics of the 400 meter case (although they explained all they've found out about the 1999 test & the appeal that followed).
One thing that was funny was Dick Pound's immediate comment that 'this is that case we've been wanting to see for four years!!!'.
He conveniently forgets that it was what- 18 cases that he said were undisclosed?, then it was down to 13, then 5. Now he admits it was really just one all along.
One case out of thousands of U.S.A. tests conducted every year. And how many are even CONDUCTED in other parts of the world who are producing athletes who are dominating many events on the GP circuit?
No, for Mr. Pound his anti-U.S. attacks are personal to the point that he's made himself a parody, and he is blind to the entire rest of the world. WADA needs a change at the top.