Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Doping Cases Coming to Light in Pro Cycling

I have a feeling that the next few months will be filled with news about doping in Pro Cycling. The NY Times and other news agencies are reporting that Jeffrey Novitzky's investigation is getting closer to Lance's inner circle all the time. This is the typical fraud investigation process.

Best practice in any fraud investigation is to start interviewing those who are most distant from the suspect but who may be able to give you information to build on. Start with people who can tell you about Lance but are not close to him any more--Floyd Landis, Betsy Andreu, Lance's former wife, Kristin, etc. Then you gradually get closer and closer, gathering facts and testimony along the way. By the time you get to the inner circle, you have a lot of evidence in the way of testimony and, perhaps, hard evidence such as documentation, that you can hold over the heads of the people you are talking to. Imagine

Novitzky interviewing Kevin Livingston and saying something like: "How would you respond if we told you that three other pro cyclists on the U.S. Postal team have said that you were involved in doping with Lance?" Or to Allen Lim: "What would you say if we told you that the manager of another pro cycling team has confirmed that you assisted the team in organizing a doping program?"

Now, since these questions are given as hypotheticals, Novitzky can ask them even if he doesn't have this testimony. Importantly, Livingston and Lim don't know if Novitzky has this testimony or not and they risk being charged with perjury if they lie--assuming a jury can be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that they were lying.

Since we are entering Lance's inner circle (Livingston and Lance are still business associates), it suggests that the investigation is making good progress and could wind up in the next month or six weeks. The NY Times article states that the investigation hopes to wrap up by January. As such, I predict that at some point the news stories will really get crazy.

Well, for other reasons, this week is turning out to be a crazy week in itself. Yesterday it was revealed that Contador may lose the yellow jersey. Today, early this morning, VeloNation reported that Riccardo Ricco's home was raided and authorities found what appear to be doping products in the pro cyclist's safe. Ricco is an Italian pro who just got off a suspension for using CERA, a 3rd-generation EPO drug that cyclists were caught using when they didn't know a test existed for it.

Also on VeloNation early this morning is a story that the runner up in this year's Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) Ezequiel Mosquera and his Xacobeo Galicia teammate, David Garcia, were confirmed to be doping. All this, Contador, Ricco, Mosquera and Garcia, coming out in 24 hours in a year when we all were hoping pro cycling was cleaning up its act...

Like I always say, where there is money, there will be fraud and where there is a lot of money there will be a lot of fraud.

No comments:

Post a Comment