Catlin's lab's reputation in tatters !


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Postby eldrick » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:33 pm

yawn

his retirement "one day" is increasingly going to look like :

today
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Postby gh » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:38 pm

Relevant question, to which I don't know the answer: did the (Cologne?) lab which turned in the false positive on Lagat go belly up? I'm guessing not.
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Postby JRM » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:12 pm

eldrick wrote:yawn

his retirement "one day" is increasingly going to look like :

today


Eldrick, please -- you're over-dramatizing this situation, and it's getting tiresome. Again, why the witch hunt against Catlin?
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Postby Snation » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:27 pm

Lagat's first test was positive at Tubingen, Germany (not WADA certified). The B test was at Cologne.
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Postby EPelle » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:53 pm

Today:s (Friday) New York Times:

Laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency conducted about 183,000 drug tests last year. Of 3,909 positive A sample results, only three or four backup tests failed to confirm the initial finding, Dr. Olivier Rabin, science director for the antidoping agency, said in a telephone interview.


Antidoping experts say there could be many reasons, aside from a lab error, why the backup analysis of Jones’s urine sample did not match the first result. The sample could have been collected incorrectly, packaged poorly or manipulated. The backup test could also have revealed such a slight margin between a negative and a positive that scientists could not confirm the initial finding.


Both samples were tested under the direction of Donald H. Catlin, who runs the lab and is considered one of the world’s top antidoping scientists. In a telephone interview, Catlin said he had full confidence in the accuracy of the EPO test. He said he could not comment further about what could have gone wrong with Jones’s B sample, however, because his lab had conducted the procedure.


Still, Rabin said he and other WADA officials had faith in the EPO test. He added that the U.C.L.A. laboratory had passed the rigid WADA tests for accreditation and was competent to do the EPO test.

He would not comment specifically on Jones’s case, but in three of the cases that failed to confirm the A sample result last year, he said, two involved urine samples that had naturally degraded. That made it difficult or impossible to determine if EPO had been present.

The third analysis that did not confirm the initial result “could have been related to the conditions of conservation of the sample,” he said. If the sample was not frozen quickly enough, for example, substances could have broken down.
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Postby gh » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:54 pm

Then a devil's advocate question is in order: should non-certified labs be allowed to generate positive (or for that matter, negative) tests?
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Postby EPelle » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:10 pm

Absolutely not, due to the highly complex nature of both performing the test and analysing the results.

Good lead-in for this, from yesterday:s (Thursday night) Chicago Tribune:

Murray said Jones' "A" sample showed "obvious loss of [analyzable] EPO material" when compared to the "B." Because it was impossible to know whether the EPO lost was natural or synthetic, he said, the results were invalid.

Murray, president of Glycozyme, a scientific research and development company, admits to a vested interest because he has unsuccessfully sought approval from international sports authorities for an EPO test he developed.


I posit that the two samples were nearer each other than one may imagine or care to believe, and that, due to the first sample:s interpretation (that of the Jones defense, that is) being "borderline", and the 2:nd one:s demonstration showing like qualities yet to a similar or lesser degree, the tests were both deemed inconclusive. Recall, if you will, that 2,25 months went by between the "A"-sample testing and the "B"-sample testing. What is the maximum time believed to be accepted in the medical field as to the "A"-sample and "B"-sample tests keeping like and similar, non-reduced characteristics?

There is defense of the testing and defense of the inconclusiveness of it built up on both sides of the professional fence.

"This test is so complex it's possible something could go wrong, as it did in this case." Jones representative stated.

"The EPO test is fine," Catlin said.

Sports Illustrated, 2006-09-08 wrote:Ljungqvist defended the EPO testing system.

"The science of the method as such has been validated and confirmed as absolutely safe and OK, but it's not unusual in the life of a laboratory that incidents may occur," he said. "The test does have some pitfalls as respect to the interpretation."

It remains unclear which test -- the "A" or "B" -- ultimately is accurate.

"We certainly know there are situations where the A and B may not necessarily look the same," Ljungqvist said. "One doesn't know if the A is the correct analysis and the B is incorrect, or vice versa. That's the open question."

Before you wish to state the obvious, eldrick, think about how this test taken in the United States - no matter what - has not failed on procedures or anything else in a court of appeals. A foreign (i.e.: European) test has failed one athlete unjustly in this sport - and one is enough. I could have ducked and run from the opposing arguments, but I:ve introduced them for you instead.

More for you and your opposition:

Washington Post, Friday, 2006-09-08 wrote:Pound said WADA could challenge the results if it were dissatisfied with the lab analysis. Though cases in which the B sample does not support the A are extremely rare, there can be several explanations when they occur.

Pound and several anti-doping experts said the EPO test, which was pioneered by French scientists and implemented at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, was more susceptible to variations in the A and B sample analyses because the test is highly complex and interpretive. Jones's lawyer, Howard Jacobs, said he thought even the A sample was suspect because it appeared to be just above the threshold for being positive.

Jordi Segura, an EPO testing expert and the WADA lab director in Barcelona, said the EPO test consists of 170 steps that take three days to perform. Segura, who had no connection to Jones's case, said any minor mistake along the way can affect the quality of the result, making it effectively too "blurry" to fit into the criteria necessary for a positive result, particularly if the sample is right at the threshold.

Segura said mistakes can be circumvented if there is enough urine for retesting. However, he said, the EPO test requires a lot of urine -- about 20 milliliters per test. If there is not enough to produce a clean test result, then the sample has to be called negative.

"It does not mean the sample is negative," he said, "but the result is considered negative."

Why am I feeding you this? Because there are other factors to consider than slipshod work produced at the site; more to believe than the testing being invalid due to non-conclusive "A"- and "B"-sample results and the inability to differentiate between which is the true result; and I am not biased toward the UCLA centre - which I am defending due to your insistance that they are incompetent.
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Postby eldrick » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:27 am

i'm not sure how you're helping your case with these links ?

all i see are words/phrases like "complexity", "borderline", "subject to interpretation", etc

how do these phrases reconcile themselves with previous claim of infallibity ???
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:29 am

You missed my point - as you have been.
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Postby eldrick » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:40 am

i'm afraid you haven't got one...
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:53 am

Yes, I do: Catlin:s lab and reputation are not in tatters.

Is he cowering in his boots today? Has he not stated on record - for everyone to read - that he believes firmly in the test? I have confidence in his reasons for believing in the testing, and that being that there is strong possibility that the "B" sample test was near enough the "A"-test, but that the quality of the sample collected had been compromised and lessened due to the amount of time between tests.

Demonstrate, eldrick, how Catlin is going to resign today, as you boldly (literally) proclaimed. This will strengthen the resolve to ensure this test is as fail-proof as we humanly allow it to be.

And, whether or not you like it, one can surmise that the IAAF may challenge the lab result, because the "B"-sample almost always confirms the "A"-sample.

Then it gets messy as to who can lawyer their way best around what those bell curves really mean.
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Postby eldrick » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:14 am

there is strong possibility that the "B" sample test was near enough the "A"-test, but that the quality of the sample collected had been compromised and lessened due to the amount of time between tests.


now please explain to us all how he always got infallible results in the past when in a similar situation ???

surmise that the IAAF may challenge the lab result, because the "B"-sample almost always confirms the "A"-sample


you've got a better chance of seeing pig's fly !

iaaf do that & they destroy all confidence in their beloved wada's ability
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Postby 26mi235 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:17 am

It is a STATISTICAL TEST. It has a RANDOM component. It is SUPPOSED to have BOTH False Positives and False Negatives. Anyone claiming that getting different sides of the CRITICAL VALUE OF THE TEST on to different draws from the same population invalidates the test does not even belong in the discussion. They have shown that they fundamentally do not understand the basic nature of a TEST.

I am not saying that there cannot be additional reasons for different results on the test but these 'EXPLANATIONS" are not needed to "explain" the +/- combination.

In addition, we have some commentary that the positive on the "A" test was just above the critical value. When this is the case, if the random component is large relative to the distance between the test value from the "A" sample and the critical value there is an almost 50% chance that the test value from the "B" sample will have the opposite sign (be negative). Now if they test design has been such that the critical value has been set very "high" so that even values below the critical value by a non-trivial amount are thought to be clear signs of doping then you have a "conservative" test. You then have a situation where you might say that, despite a "non-positive" decision from the test, there is a strong likelihood of doping. However, the decision on the test is still not "positive". I posted elsewhere about the standard deviation on the errors in the test and the implications for getting false positives and negatives; I will not repeat that here.

[edited to add a response to Eldrick's question]:
how do "borderline" tests reconcile themselves with infallibility ???

By almost never getting test results that are near the borderline due to small standard deviations and a wide range on the test values. Thus, very few results end up close the the critical value on the test. This is generally the case when most doping samples are taken from those that have not used the substance tested for during the time interval where any is left in the system to test. It is my impression that the EPO test has a somewhat larger relative standard error than the other doping tests, in part due to the more complex process of getting the test results.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:29 am

Whom are you directing this at?
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Postby Jon » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:34 am

gh wrote:Then a devil's advocate question is in order: should non-certified labs be allowed to generate positive (or for that matter, negative) tests?
That's how Nesterenko escaped a ban in 2002 - because the Polish lab that conducted the test was not certified.
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Postby 26mi235 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:44 am

EPelle wrote:Whom are you directing this at?


It is "directed at" neither you nor Eldrick; it might have implications more for comments of one of you more than the other, but that was neither my intent nor my motivation. It is a comment on the whole topic of the Jones test, but it did seem to be a thread where is was generally relevant.
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Postby gh » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:17 am

Jon wrote:
gh wrote:Then a devil's advocate question is in order: should non-certified labs be allowed to generate positive (or for that matter, negative) tests?
That's how Nesterenko escaped a ban in 2002 - because the Polish lab that conducted the test was not certified.


I'm well aware of that case: so then what made Lagat's case different?
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:32 am

WADA lab was accredited.

Moreover there are problems in terms of a proper transportation of the sample to the lab. In this case Mr. Lagat’s sample arrived at the Cologne lab 28 hours after collection of the sample in Tübingen. During this period of time the sample had been exposed to extremely high summer temperatures (ca. 38 – 40°C) in a car before it arrived in the Cologne lab where it was refrigerated for six days at 2 – 8°C before the B-sample was frozen to a temperature of -20°C. Therefore, it is [more] likely than not that glycoprotein-modifying activities have artificially contributed to the results of both the A and B-samples. When Dr. Saugy was asked about the use of cool-boxes or ice-containers for transportation, he responded that it would be prohibitively expensive for the IAAF


Case study: http://www.multi-science.co.uk/sports_science_1-1.pdf
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Postby Snation » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:05 am

I see several things to learn:

1. No agency should release the results of an 'A' test. If the standards say that A and B sample should be tested, then wait unitl both samples are run before releasing any statement.. I agree with Jones, and Jones lawyers on this.

2. If the A/B sampling supposes to protect the athlete, it worked in this case.

3. Nonetheless, I think it is 90/10 or 80/20 MJ is a drug cheat. She cavorts with the world's leading drug cheat experts. These experts appear to be one step ahead of labs, and always will be, I am afraid.

This is substance abuse, OK. And like substance abuse, the users are always there because we humans are not perfect. We cheat.

The real enforcement should be at the distributor/manufacturer level. In sports case it would be the coaches/mentors/consultants etc. They distribute the drugs in a shadowy network. The athletes can be tested, or bio-profiles developed; however you are always going to get these ambigious results (anyone looking at medical lab tests knows this). However, if the regulatory agencies ruthlessly pursue the coaches etc. that promote and allow drug cheating, that may actually reduce drug cheats.
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Postby Snation » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:24 am

Here is what I have an Lagat:

Monaco - The analysis of the B sample of Kenyan middle distance runner Bernard Lagat has failed to confirm the initial result of the anti-doping test conducted in Tubingen, Germany on 8 August 2003, where the analysis of the A sample returned an adverse finding for Erythropoietin (EPO).

The analysis of the B sample was conducted by the IOC-accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany on 29 September and did not corroborate the original result. Consequently the athlete is able to compete.


Does anyone have the full report?
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Postby 26mi235 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:27 am

EPelle wrote:WADA lab was accredited.

Moreover there are problems in terms of a proper transportation of the sample to the lab. In this case Mr. Lagat’s sample arrived at the Cologne lab 28 hours after collection of the sample in Tübingen. During this period of time the sample had been exposed to extremely high summer temperatures (ca. 38 – 40°C) in a car before it arrived in the Cologne lab where it was refrigerated for six days at 2 – 8°C before the B-sample was frozen to a temperature of -20°C. Therefore, it is [more] likely than not that glycoprotein-modifying activities have artificially contributed to the results of both the A and B-samples. When Dr. Saugy was asked about the use of cool-boxes or ice-containers for transportation, he responded that it would be prohibitively expensive for the IAAF


Case study: http://www.multi-science.co.uk/sports_science_1-1.pdf


EPelle, the journal and the article cited are quite interesting. The article provides a very strong indictment of WADA that may eventually get a hearing in a court of law and not just in CAS, which is constrained in terms of responding to the claims of defendants.

The posts by Snation are welcomed (at least by me) and have caused me to rethink part of what I have been posting about RE: testing, although not the basic thrusts of those posts.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:33 am

I agree on all you stated above - especially with Snation:s contributions.
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Postby Snation » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:42 am

And what I had on Lagat was wrong. It was all tested in Cologne.

Didn't people leanr not to release A results from that example?
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Postby Snation » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:45 am

We all need to think about these issues. I appreciate the different views.

A fellow like Eldrick provides a spirited defense of Jones etc. That is needed. People need to ask tough questions. It may get annoying, but those questions need to be raised and answered.
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Postby gh » Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:51 am

Snation wrote:And what I had on Lagat was wrong. It was all tested in Cologne.

Didn't people leanr not to release A results from that example?


Some people are--to quote the Blues Brothers--"on a mission from god."
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Postby CookyMonzta » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:24 pm

eldrick wrote:i'm afraid you haven't got one...

My point exactly. He was all-but-willing to accept the leaked report on Marion's A-sample at face value, but when her attorneys came forward to confirm that her B-sample was negative, he was just as quick to dispute them as a source. He can't accept the spin put forward by the now-disputed source, and himself put a spin on the report from the lawyers. He can't have it both ways.

Like I said earlier (which I have now removed, since it is no longer relevant, except for the one paragraph I kept), until the lab says differently, or until she comes up steroids on both samples, I will accept the current report at its face value...

...Which is more likely now than yesterday, because of the dispute the testing for the A-sample has now come under (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ch ... &cset=true). It makes you wonder, once again, if the A-sample was indeed positive, or that they simply had a problem for which the B-sample needed to be tested, and this unscrupulous source simply accepted it and reported it as a positive test.

And what exactly was the problem with Lagat's test? I thought I read that the A-sample was tested in a non-certified lab. Was the testing for Marion's A-sample (or, for that matter, the B-sample) based upon a certified procedure; i.e., 'by the book'? We know the lab itself was certified; not that it matters at this point.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let the inquiry begin.
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Postby EPelle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:42 pm

CookyMonzta wrote:My point exactly. He was all-but-willing to accept the leaked report on Marion's A-sample at face value, but when her attorneys came forward to confirm that her B-sample was negative, he was just as quick to dispute them as a source.

Wow, talk about hit and miss: You really failed to check my activity today.

I have never based my presumed MJ guilt on this evidence. Recall, if you will, I stated, "I believe she has failed a drugs test", not "MJ has failed a drugs test". Moreover, look at what quotes I introduced to the contrary to my stance - as to help you with your own cause.

Think a little bit before you cast me off as a person in hiding. I am very much still alive. What I have refuted is her attorney:s statements in concert with the statements made by the scientist sent there on Marion Jones behalf. Nothing stated is making sense, and it has not just affected me.

Jump on the bandwagon if you will. I:ll come back for more abuse tomorrow. Insofar as the entirety of my argument is not based on a drugs test, this changes nothing on my own stance.

Regarding Lagat: You have not done today:s homework, as the answer to your question has been brought up, specifically, today.
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Postby mrbowie » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:35 am

Many track fans were ready to accept MJ's guilt, much in the way a nation was ready to see Al Capone go to Club Fed, not on murder charges, but on income tax evasion.

In this instance, it if my belief that many believe her to be guilty of so many previous indiscretions that any other offense that can be summoned up to catch her in an act of wrong doing would serve to nail her for her previous sins.

In this case, EPO seemed to present an opportunity to bring MJ down.

Guilt by association is a dangerous method of identifying wrong doers, however in this instance, based on the company she kept, MJ would have to be a saint to have been a member of her inner circle without being a user.

And her credibility, as has been well documented, as a truthsayser is pathetic.
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Postby RJMB_1 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:00 am

Though I don't necessarily agree it is being done or should be done in this case wasn't it a similar situation leading to Ben Johnson's first +ve. According to some reports pure stanazol was found in BJ's sample, where metabolites thereof are normally used as the indicators of steroid use (?unless that is he injected just before the race?). The arguement followed that everyone knew BJ was roid-city, so someone made sure he got caught for it by tampering with the sample. Or maybe his stupidty of injecting before race allowed for a convienient defence of tampering.
Anyway no one really cared how he got caught!
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Postby CookyMonzta » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:46 am

EPelle wrote:
CookyMonzta wrote:My point exactly. He was all-but-willing to accept the leaked report on Marion's A-sample at face value, but when her attorneys came forward to confirm that her B-sample was negative, he was just as quick to dispute them as a source.

Wow, talk about hit and miss: You really failed to check my activity today.

I have never based my presumed MJ guilt on this evidence. Recall, if you will, I stated, "I believe she has failed a drugs test", not "MJ has failed a drugs test". Moreover, look at what quotes I introduced to the contrary to my stance - as to help you with your own cause.

Think a little bit before you cast me off as a person in hiding. I am very much still alive. What I have refuted is her attorney:s statements in concert with the statements made by the scientist sent there on Marion Jones behalf. Nothing stated is making sense, and it has not just affected me.

Jump on the bandwagon if you will. I:ll come back for more abuse tomorrow. Insofar as the entirety of my argument is not based on a drugs test, this changes nothing on my own stance.

Regarding Lagat: You have not done today:s homework, as the answer to your question has been brought up, specifically, today.

Not everybody reads everything, word-for-word, on this board. I will admit I miss a few new posts from time to time. But the fact remains you were just as ready (as were a lot of other people) to throw the baby out with the bath water, once that A-test came up dirty.

Again, when or if she comes up steroids, then we can all scream. Until then, we'll just have to wait until Trevor Graham is brought before an inquiry to see what happens next.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let the inquiry begin.
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Postby EPelle » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:49 am

CookyMonzta wrote:Not everybody reads everything, word-for-word, on this board. I will admit I miss a few new posts from time to time. But the fact remains you were just as ready (as were a lot of other people) to throw the baby out with the bath water, once that A-test came up dirty.

No, again, check your facts as far as the "unnamed athlete" re-named "Marion Jones" at the "A"-sample revelation.

Nothing about this test - positive or negative - has impacted my opinion about her. Is that difficult to understand? I had a long-standing opinion which saw me "throw the baby out with the bath water" long, long ago.
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