Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grey Manrod Associates

When we last left the Landis saga, the UCI was threatening to sue Floyd because he had insulted "the honour" of current President Pat McQuaid and past-President Hein Verbruggen in an interview given to a German television show and summarized in the following statement sent to Floyd on Feb 7th.

"For the record, you basically indicate that the UCI and its current and former leaders may protect certain cyclists suspected of doping and not others, may falsify results and create stars, and that they may be corrupt."

Days later, Mr. McQuaid was then interviewed by Cycling Weekly, portions of which appeared in this article dated February 10, 2011.

"A lot of the stuff he [Landis] says in relation to what went on in those years is probably true," admitted McQuaid....."There was a lot of doping going on in those teams in those years....If it [American Supreme Court decision] proves that the US Postal Team were involved in a lot of doping, it wouldn't necessarily surprise me.  In those days it was possible to beat the system."

Last week, however, past-president Hein Verbruggen was back on the warpath as he emerged from the shadows to criticize the cycling media for focusing too much on doping in the sport, which he states only affects "one or two percent of the sport", yet receives "50% of the coverage."  Maybe we should cut the old-timer some slack and chalk this statement up to short-term memory loss.  But to refresh his memory, let's look at the VeloNews article published on the 16th of this month (the day Armstrong retired for a second time) which showed the list of the top 20 of the 2005 Tour de France - both in terms of placing and doping.

1. Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel
2. Ivan Basso, CSC – confessed to Puerto involvement and banned from 2006 Tour ()
3. Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile – connected to Puerto and banned from 2006 Tour
4. Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears – connected to Puerto and banned from 2006 Tour
5. Alexander Vinokourov, Astana – tested positive for doping at 2007 Tour
6. Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner — accused of doping by Floyd Landis and former Gerolsteiner manager
7. Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank – ejected from 2007 Tour while in the yellow jersey
8. Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto
9. Floyd Landis, Phonak – disqualified as 2006 Tour winner for doping
10. Oscar Pereiro, Phonak – alleged to have doped by Landis
11. Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole – admitted EPO use after Festina Affaire
12. Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel – home searched
13. Eddy Mazzoleni, Lampre-Caffita – charged in doping conspiracy after receiving a two-year ban in 2008
14. George Hincapie, Discovery Channel — accused of doping by Floyd Landis
15. Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi
16. Jörg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros – admitted doping since 1997
17. Bobby Julich, CSC
18. Oscar Sevilla, T-Mobile – suspended by team in 2006 for Puerto links
19. Giuseppe Guerini, T-Mobile
20. Carlos Sastre, CSC
Also, 23. Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval-Prodir – tested positive for CERA in 2008

2005 was the year that Lance stood on the podium and said to those who doubted the performance of the upper echilon of Tour cyclists, "I feel sorry for you.  I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles."

Even if you exclude everyone on this list that was merely accused or suspected of doping by Floyd, that still leaves 50% of the cyclists finishing in the top 20 guilty of doping.  Hein, if you are reading, even a miracle can't make 50% be less than 1%.

How has Floyd responded to all of this seeming hypocrisy?  Enter Mr. Chade O. Grey and Mr. Sigmund Manrod, attorneys at law for a firm entitled Grey Manrod, Associates

Under the noms des plume of Grey & Manrod, Floyd has sent a long list of emails to the UCI that are yes, hilarious, but also ask some incredibly good questions.  You can read all the emails at the NYVelocity site: here.

My favorite of which, however, is this one, penned by Mr. Sigmund Manrod to Mr. Ditesheim, the UCI attorney on Feb. 20th.

Mr. Ditesheim, the previous letter sent by you, dated 07 Feb 2011 requires a retraction by Mr. Landis. It sets a 15-day window for such a retraction to be submitted. Given the points listed above which detail the fundamental concession that Mr. Landis' statements are "probably true", the established fact that Mr. McQuaid and Mr. Verbruggen are public figures, and that Article 17 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires the predicate of "unlawful attack" to be the basis for legal recourse, we feel that Mr. Landis has acted in a "lawful" manner at all times since he has disclosed his previous behaviours, has told the truth (as accepted by Mr. McQuaid). We consider the threat of any further legal action against him by your clients to be baseless and frivolous, serving the sole purpose of chilling his voice as it relates to his truthful comments to the media, and further exposure of truths about many facets of professional cycling during this period.

It is public knowledge that Mr. Landis has cooperated with the US Food and Drug Administration in providing his eye-witness accounts and conveyed his truthful knowledge of doping during his cycling career. For your information, providing false statements to the US Food and Drug Administration in the course of an investigation carries with it severe penalties. Mr. Landis maintains that he proffered his truthful recollections to the authorities. Mr. Landis understand his responsibility to tell the truth in this matter, and given the radical and direct contradiction of previously made statements by Mr. McQuaid, it is encouraging to see that they, too, understand the import of coming to terms with the truth in the matter.

Please feel free to answer [these] questions.

Primary question: As now Mr. McQuaid has conceded that the "stuff" that Mr. Landis has conveyed is "probably true", are we to still follow Mr. McQuaid's seemingly flippant mention that things he says in the past will be stood by today, despite this being a direct contradiction?In the absence of your direct answers and given the consideration of Mr. McQuaid’s current concession that Mr. Landis' statements are "probably true", we will consider this to be closure to this matter.

Secondary question: If Mr. McQuaid is now allowing for changes to his position and public statement, can you please indicate which part of his "honour" still remains damaged?

Tertiary question: If there still remains some damage, what form is this damage? Please provide documentation as to this damage.

Finest regards,

Sigmund A. Manrod

Say what you will about past transgressions, Landis brings up some pretty serious contradictions in the UCI's behavior, both formerly and presently.  If these questions and allegations were raised by a reporter for the NY Times, or Wall Street Journal, I think they would be taken a lot more seriously and obviously reach a wider audience.  But what will the cycling community do with them coming from fictitious (and hilarious) attorneys at law, Grey & Manrod?  The questions are the same and just as relevant regardless who is asking them, even if he is wearing double-middle-finger shades.

Oh yeah, and while all of this is going on, Contador is still racing, despite the WADA rule that ANY clenbuterol found in your system is enough to have you serving a suspension.  When asked about the long delay and current status of Contador's case, McQuaid said he is just following protocol.  But I'm wondering, as are others, what happened to proper protocol for other cyclists like Li Fuyu and Tom Zirbel  whose positive A-sample results were announced before B-samples were even tested.  Both of them are still sitting out, and appropriately so.  Where is the equality amongst cyclists that the UCI is so proud of?  It will be interesting to see what Grey Manrod has to say about all of the upcoming developments....
Translation: "Danger! (out of work)" Further translation: "I've got lots of time on my hands, bitches."

Now, I realize that with all these different names of people and places and entities, this entire saga is getting pretty hard to follow.  So if you are having difficulties keeping track of who's who in this whole mess, I've put together a schematic for you using real pictures of all the places and people involved where I can.  There were a few individuals and locations that I couldn't find pictures of - so I just filled them in with substitutes.  I hope this helps make future discussion of this ongoing story a lot easier.  Click to enlarge.


  1. PooBah, just in case you weren't clear from our earlier whining.

    We are not nearly as interested in hearing about men being injected as we are seeing hot, nearly nude women and pondering if they would let us inject them.

  2. Here ya go Anonymous (note that there's a bicycle in the background. Therefore this is art, and not to be confused with porn).

    PooBah, I tried to think something to add to the "Floyd Wars", but the more I thought about it, the more I felt a crushing sensation on my windpipe, as if some dark force was willing it so.

    Also I think Eddy Merckx might be my father.

  3. Anonymous: Patience, Friday is just around the corner

    DH: If EM is your dad, please ask him for me the real story behind the '68 Giro. Also - see if you can snag me an old Molteni cap as well. Thanks

  4. It would seem that the world has drastically underestimated the legal fraternity's zany sense of humour. First Grey and Manrod, now this from Contador's counsel...

    "Less than one per cent of Spanish cattle are tested for Clenbuterol

    Alberto Contador's lawyer has explained that the Spaniard escaped a doping ban for Clenbuterol because he was unaware he ingested the substance, via a piece of filet mignon, during the 2010 Tour de France." (