As Trust But Verify is winding down, I’d like to take a short break from the current series of posts to reflect on the most definitive web site covering the Floyd Landis case. This could be considered a brief introduction to the article I submitted as part of TBV’s final wrap-up series, The Winnowing.
In the beginning …
It’s been something like 28 months since I first started blogging about the Floyd Landis case. What got me started was my wife. As the scandal unfolded in those early days, just asking me about the Landis story could get me going into a rant that would almost never end. My poor wife endured a few too many of those rants, I suspect. At a certain level, she shared my opinion of how Floyd was being treated — both in the media and by the anti-doping system. But I don’t think she had quite the same level of anger and passion that I felt, and I suspect that I was probably getting to be a little insufferable. Sensing that I needed a creative outlet, she suggested I start a blog. “So what should I call it?” I asked. We batted around a few ideas and eventually the name for the blog crystallized. “Rant Your Head Off.” That’s what I was doing, anyway, so why not give the blog that name?
A quick check showed that no one had registered the domain name. Next, I did a bit of searching and found an inexpensive ISP, set up the domain, installed WordPress, and got started. I was pretty green to the whole blogging thing, even though I’d gotten a very tentative start back in 2003, right after my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
This time, however, the blogging bug bit and it bit hard. It wasn’t long before I was writing posts on an almost daily basis, scouring the web for new information and writing what I thought about the latest developments. The first site that linked to me, after my first post, was Trust But Verify. Interesting name, I thought. Let’s have a look. So I did.
What I found was basically the mother lode of information on the Landis case. If it was written somewhere, chances were that TBV would have a link. Whether that meant discussions on forums like Topix or DPF, or articles in various mainstream media, or comments on other blogs. It was all there. Amazing stuff. For a writer, it couldn’t get any better. Here’s a one-stop place to find links to everything you’d ever need to know about a subject. Eventually, a number of case-related documents made their way to TBV, as well, giving all of us access to the actual lab documentation package so that we could see what had been done, try and understand it, debate what it all meant. All that information meant that those who wanted to spend the time to really understand the case could come to their own conclusions about whether or not the test results really supported the conclusion that LNDD reached when they declared an adverse analytical finding against Landis. Not every reader of TBV’s site came to the same conclusion, but we’ve all had the opportunity to look at the subject in depth. Much more so than for any other doping case that had gone before.
I’ve spent countless hours reading the posts at TBV, and following the links to discussions and articles elsewhere. Like almost every reader here, I’ve learned a whole lot about how the anti-doping system works — or doesn’t, as the case may be. We would know none of this if it weren’t for two people. One is Floyd Landis, who bravely chose to stage his fight to clear his name out in the open, rather than quietly behind closed doors. It was a gutsy move. One that will probably be debated for some time to come.
Landis made all the documentation he could available to the public. But to stage what became known as “The Wiki Defense” there needed to be an outlet for the information. TBV has been that outlet. If TBV hadn’t existed, someone would have needed to invent it. TBV, the man, did an amazing job doing his daily (and oftentimes more than daily) round-ups of Landis news and commentary. Along the way, he picked up some helpers: strbuk (Paula), Marc, Bill Hue, Ali, Larry, and a few others I’m probably forgetting to name right now.
Their work has been what made TBV such a great resource of information. Speaking as one who has benefited a great deal from all they’ve done (and whose site has gotten a number of visitors because of the links from TBV), I could never have managed to do what I’ve done here at Rant these last 28 months without their unflagging efforts.
With the Landis case over, it’s time to move on. TBV’s site will live on as an example of what can be accomplished by a dedicated group of individuals who have a passion for a story, and who put a great deal into following their passion. Thank you all. Well done.
Having said all that, it’s time for the first (and probably only) Rant™ that will appear exclusively on TBV.