Velogal's Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I don’t know how many of you wrote to your elected officials about Floyd Landis and the USADA hearings, or what you might have received back from them... I wrote to a few political folks, and received only one response. This is from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren:

“Thank you for contacting me with your comments and concerns about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with me.

According to the USADA , it is "the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic related sport in the United States . It was created as the result of recommendations made by the United States Olympic Committee's Select Task Force on Externalization to uphold the Olympic ideal of fair play, and to represent the interests of Olympic, Pan American Games, and Paralympic athletes." The only governmental connection the USADA has is that the U.S. Congress has recognized USADA as "the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sport in the United States ." The U.S. government, however, does not provide any funding for the USADA , nor does it have oversight power over this independent agency.

If you would like to send your comments to USADA directly, you may contact them through their website:

http:// www.usantidoping.org/contact/feedback.aspx .

Again, thanks for being in touch. If I may be of assistance to you or your family, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely
Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress “


So, according to Lofgren’s staff, there is no oversight from any US Gov branch over the goings-on at USADA. If this is true, they do not answer to any US agency? No accountability to any government entity, or to the public? Nobody looks at their expenditures and expense accounts? No public entity audits their financial records? Nobody looks at how much USADA spent on lawyers to try to crush Floyd and his team and obliterate the truth?

My question is, then, from who and where does their seemingly endless, deep-pockets financing originate? Who created USADA? “It was created as the result of recommendations made by USOC”, but who created it and who funds it? Why, then, are the words “United States” used in their title? It sure makes me think that it is some kind of offspring of a federal agency, but I guess not... We do not fund it and we have no voice in it, I guess. Sounds like our idiotic Congress has given their stamp of approval to another bungling agency that is above and beyond the public reach. Or maybe the info I received is not correct - I kinda hope so...

No oversight and no accountability. Incredible... That should be really, really scary to all athletes here in the US who want fair, impartial justice. While we have been out happily cycling in the sunshine, it seems that a powerful bureaucratic monster has been created right under our noses. And then there is WADA, but that's another story... or is it?

Maybe we've all symbolically crashed and didn't even realize it until Floyd and his team took a stand against USADA.

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5 Comments:

  • Velogal, go here: http://www.usantidoping.org/who/report.html

    Click on the annual report for 2006 and check out the section labeled "Revenues, Grants and Other Support" under "Statements and Activities." Unless the definitions of the words "Federal Grant" has changed, the government provided USADA with roughly 70% of its funding in 2005.

    Ms. Lofgren should try to do a little research before she responds next time. Though, kudos to her for being a congress critter who actually responds personally.

    By Blogger Gary O'Brien, At 9:19 AM  

  • Thanks, Gary! I said I hoped that info was wrong... Maybe we do have a voice! We need to find the origin of that "Federal Grant"...
    I think I'll send your info back to Congresswoman Lofgren and see if I get any further response... And I do agree, at least she had a staff person respond, but they do need to do their homework a little better that just a quick hit the USADA website...

    By Blogger velogal, At 9:44 AM  

  • VeloGal,

    The funding is a pass-through that is part of the appropriation for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. That's money approved by Congress, funding an Executive Office department, payable to USADA.

    That being the case, they are subject to Congressional oversight, as Congress could kill that funding any time it bloody well pleases.

    - Rant

    By Blogger daniel m (a/k/a Rant), At 11:06 AM  

  • Thanks, Rant - I knew there had to be a pony in there somewhere.

    I sent an email back to Lofgren with the into from Gary and requested a response...

    Come on, let's all write, write, write.... How about adding the Office of National Drug Control Policy to our lists?

    By Blogger velogal, At 11:57 AM  

  • VeloGal,

    For everyone who wants to get involved, here's the contact info:

    Scott Burns
    Deputy Director for State and Local Affairs Office of National Drug Control Policy
    Executive Office of the President
    Washington, D.C. 20503

    More info can be found at:

    http://www.floydfairnessfund.org/get-involved.php

    - Rant

    By Blogger daniel m (a/k/a Rant), At 1:49 PM  

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