Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A bad day at the office

Is what I would call this:

The Floyd Landis doping arbitration hearing stalled and ran aground for much of the day Tuesday on a language barrier -- an embarrassing episode for a high-profile international proceeding. An interpreter brought in to translate the first of what could be a parade of French-speaking witnesses from the lab where Landis' samples were tested was let go after it became clear he was not up to the task.
The unfortunate episode can be seen here in all its gory detail. The relevant portion consists of the final few minutes of the morning session and the beginning of the afternoon session on 15 May.

Most unusually, the interpreters are identified by name in the media reports, which the hapless one could certainly have done without. Anyone can have an off-day but he'll surely find it hard to live that one down. It is a little ironic that a proceeding intended to salvage one man's reputation and career may have succeeded in destroying another's.

And though the interpreter certainly went through a bad patch, who's to say he wouldn't have come good if given the chance?

After all Floyd Landis himself had a complete nightmare on stage 16 of the Tour de France but managed to turn things right around on stage 17.

Perhaps he should have taken the interpreter to one side and told him how it's done.

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