Thursday, March 04, 2010

Craig Lord disparages Short Course Meters Swimmers as not "...top-level athletes! "


Craig Lord has a dog in the fight! - He files an affidavit in the TYR lawsuit without being subpoenaed!

Obtaining court records is not complicated but you have to have both the right case number and document number.* Luckily I had both. On December 29, 2009, an affidavit was filed by Craig Lord for both USA Swimming and Mark Schubert. Lord was not court ordered to do so or subpoenaed and ultimately it was submitted on his own volition. This is something unusual for journalist to do. (Read that as taking sides.)

I will upload this document tonight for all to see but I have to share this gem which disparages athletes who compete in short course meters!

In Craig Lord's words on page 8-0f-12:

"... Long course world records are, in my opinion, the more significant statistic, because based on my experience long-course events attract the very top-level athletes. ..."
FINA is going to love that quote especially since Michael Phelps endorsed the FINA World Cup Series with his presence.

There you have it, in Craig Lord's universe the following swimmers who hold world records in SCM racing are essentially "B-List swimmers."

Women SCM World Record Holders:

Marleen Veldhuis
Libby Trickett
Federica Pellegrini
Joanne Jackson
Alessia Filippi
Jessica Hardy
Rebecca Soni
Therese Alshammar

Male SCM World Record Holders:

Roland Schoeman
Paul Biedermann
Amaury Leveaux
Grant Hackett
László Cseh
Peter Marshall
Cameron van der Burgh

Pictured above is A-List athlete, Rebecca Soni, doing a groovy start dive but then again I am openly biased.


[*The Case Number 8:08-cv-00529-JVS-MLG. It is titled Document 89-3.]

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I dunno - maybe the problem is how the statement reads but the clear impression that I've formed is that the long course medals and records are definitely more valued than the equivalent short course ones - and that's what I think he was saying.

Tony Austin said...

How does scenario that apply when he clearly says: "...long-course events attract the very top-level athletes..." yet WR holders, or former WR holders, held or hold records in both venues?

Also, why is he submitting an opinion when he wouldn't share notes with the TYR lawyers yet he files an afidavit for Speedo?

My opinion is that he has a "dog in the fight"?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony:

The key word there is "opinion". He is not qualified to speak about any technical aspects of swimming. There are plenty of people here in the US that worked on "tech suits" from the science side.

Was he ever on a Speedo payroll??

Tony Austin said...

The first key word is "journalist" i.e. he offered an affidavit on his own volition choosing a side in a story that he has to cover for the TIMES online. In other words he has a dog in the fight. He can't take sides and submit affidavits unless a judge tells you too. That sort of nonsense is for the op ed pages.

The second key word is "Gem" meaning I found a statement so stupid and inaccurate I couldn't resist invalidating it.

Short course meters is far more technical than long course so I had to illustrate how silly his opinion are.

Craig Lord said...

Tony,

Try as you might in your warped protection of folk who would have been happy to see the sport of swimming sunk in world of shiny suits and apparel that overshadowed all the hard work of swimmers and coaches and others and altered the nature of the sport of swimming, to twist what happened because things did not go the way you wanted them to go, you will need to do an awful lot better than the tripe you just spewed out.

Let's take your points one by one.

(Craig Lord has a dog in the fight! - He files an affidavit in the TYR lawsuit without being subpoenaed!)

GOSH... ... I'll refrain from using exclamation marks. I fully realise that truth is something you shiny suit lovers have really not wanted to get too close to along the way of this sorry saga but when an article I have written is being used to sue a man and being used in a way that twists context I am very happy to RESPOND TO A REQUEST...not volunteer information or opinion ... from lawyers to explain the circumstances and contents of that article. That article was NOT for Times or Times Online. It was for SwimNews...nothing to do with The Times.

Craig Lord said...

....... Obtaining court records is not complicated but you have to have both the right case number and document number.* Luckily I had both. On December 29, 2009, an affidavit was filed by Craig Lord for both USA Swimming and Mark Schubert. Lord was not court ordered to do so or subpoenaed and ultimately it was submitted on his own volition. This is something unusual for journalist to do. (Read that as taking sides.)....

You could have just mailed me and asked me to send you my response to a lawyer's request. Nothing secret about it at all. If responding to a request to tell the truth is not part of the legal system in the USA, then you are truly lost. I responded to the falsehood that suggested that Mark Schubert was acting as a salesman for Speedo when he spoke to me and others ion the issue of the LZR Racer in early 2008. Nothing could be further that the truth...it is pure nonsense... I generated the questions, he provided the answers and he knew that I knew that he was a "speedo coach" from a speedo nation that had gone down to Canberra after Melbourne 2007 to help develop a speedo suit. No secrets, no sales pitch and it was clear to all by then that I was not in favour of the use of such suits... If the world now needs to look at the relationships federations hold with suit makers etc etc, so be it, it would be a healthy thing, but it must be said that very few if any folk at the elite end of the sport did not know that America and its head coach were Speedo backed...also daft to suggest that in February March 2008 that the world media was aware of any other suit other than the speedo LZR as being "different"... we simply were not aware of that in Europe and Australian colleages would confirm the same... it was all about the speedo suit at the time.

Craig Lord said...

As for this load of baloney:

///////........ I will upload this document tonight for all to see but I have to share this gem which disparages athletes who compete in short course meters!

In Craig Lord's words on page 8-0f-12:

"... Long course world records are, in my opinion, the more significant statistic, because based on my experience long-course events attract the very top-level athletes. ..."


FINA is going to love that quote especially since Michael Phelps endorsed the FINA World Cup Series with his presence.

/////////////

i refer you to the truth in then sport of swimming via the following things for you to ponder...

A SIMPLE QUESTION ... HOW MANY WORLD S/C CHAMPIONSHIPS HAVE FEATURED ALL OF THE BEST 8 IN THE WORLD TWO PER NATION IN FINALS THROUGH HISTORY? ANSWER - NONE. HOW MANY OLYMPIC AND WORLD L/C MEETS DOES THAt situation apply to? ANSWER - AN AWFUL LOT, NEARLY ALL IN FACT.

SIMPLE QUESTION - HOW MANY TIMES HAS MICHAEL PHELPS TAPERED AND GOT HIMSELF READY AS HE WOULD FOR A WORLD L/C CHAMPS OR OLYMPIC GAMES FOR A S/C MEET? HOW MANY TIMES DID THAT APPLY TO POPOV, EGERSZEGI, KLOCHKOVA, THORPE AND ON AND ON AND ON... ANSWER IN SOME CASES NEVER...IN OTHERS, VERY FEW INDEED. SHORT=COURSE SWIMMING IS NOT THE SAME AS LONG/COURSE SWIMMING IN TERMS OF THE DEPTH OF QUALITY IN THE FIELD READY TO RACE AT PEAK... NOWHERE NEAR THE SAME, AND WE ALL KNOW IT....JUST YOU WHO SEEMS TO HAVE MISSED A TRICK.

Craig Lord said...

and this ////// There you have it, in Craig Lord's universe the following swimmers who hold world records in SCM racing are essentially "B-List swimmers."//////

simply reflects your bitterness Tony....

MISINTERPRETATION IS PRECISELY WHY I DECIDED TO EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF MY INTERVIEW WITH SCHUBERT, AND STUFF LIKE 2%. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD SUGGEST THAT I THINK OF ANY OF THOSE ON THE WORLD RECORD LIST AS B LIST SWIMMERS... THE SWIMMERS THEMSELVES WOULD LAUGH AT THE VERY IDEA ... BUT THAT CAN BE NO QUESTION THAT THE BETTER MARKER OF WORLD SWIMMING IS TO BE FOUND IN L/C RACING, NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER. THE MATHS AND THE NAMES MISSING DOWN THE YEARS TELL THAT TALE VERY SIMPLY AND CLEARLY.

and for the record I NEVER REFUSED ANY NOTES TO TYR NOR WAS I ASKED FOR ANY.

NOR DID I SUPPLY MY TAPE NOR MY NOTES TO ANYONE IN THIS CASE.

I STAND BY EVERY WORD OF WHAT I WROTE, FOR IT IS EITHER OPINION, AND I AM ENTITLED TO THAT JUST AS YOU ARE, OR TRUTH... WHICH YOU APPEAR TO HAVING A LITTLE TROUBLE WITH IN YOUR BITTERNESS OVER HOW IT ALL PANNED OUT FOR THE BETTER.

There is no secret in anything I have written, so please don't suggest that there is.

It is not for me to say whether TYR has a case in what from a distance is a more litigious part of the world. It is for your legal system to decide and it appears that it is on the way to doing just that. But it is for me to speak the truth when asked to do so in a matter related directly to an articles (if not articles) that I wrote.

There are times when Journalists need to keep a distance from legal cases for very good reason. This is not one of them. Tell me why it should be?

Again, for the record, I have never been on the payroll of Speedo or any other suit maker. Advertising revenue from suit makers helps to pay for activity on SwimNews.com, in the magazine, for programmers and writers etc, just as it does in newspapers the world over and on websites of those world leading newspapers, at swimming world, swimnetwork and wherever else you care to look in the world of media.

There is no relationship between me, Speedo, USA Swimming, Mark Schubert or TYR for that matter other than the relationship of a journalist covering the sport of swimming. I have no reason whatsoever to take sides on behalf of those parties, any of them.

I did, as you know well, take a stand on suits and, along with the vast majority of world-class swimmers, as you can see in articles published the world over day in and day out in the past few months (not to mention coaches and others) I am very happy that the shiny suits are gone and swimming can once more be the wonderful and somewhat unique sport that it was.

Good luck with your little blog.

Tony Austin said...

Well, this past quarter my little blog has posted higher visitors numbers than Swim News.

Compete.com is my reference

Here is a link, (you may have to register):

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/SCAQ.blogspot.com+swimnews.com/

You and I both took a stand on the suits, and quite frankly you and I both have severely over-invested ourselves in this suit issue too. We both need to examine that.

However, a simple factor remains, I was always a blogger but you, by filing that affidavit on your own behalf for USAS and Mark Schubert's benefit have transformed yourself from a journalist into a blogger.

If you like I will delete your comments. However, if you like, I can turn them into a full blown rebuttal post.

Ralf said...

At least for Europe, Craig is right. Yes, we have all the short course meetings, and they are very intersting and fun. And many of the big names start there because of the fun, the small pool etc. Yes, it's great to be world champion there.

BUT: the frog jumps in long course. That's where it gets really importent. Where you wanna be. Where you prove yourself - and where the media are. Simply because the "normal" championships and Olympic Games are in these larger pools.

Chris DeSantis said...

I'M TYPING IN ALL CAPS SO YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME

Chris DeSantis said...

Tony, you really should use more words and caps in your replies to Craig. Its quite obvious that using a lot of words to make your points makes them much stronger.

Tony Austin said...

WHAT?! Type louder and use "slash marks" LOL

Q-Swim said...

A declaration filed in a federal court proceeding is admissible where the declaration is of facts relevant to the case and opinion offered in a declaration is only admissible when offered as expert opinion by a witness designated as such and qualified by the court as such. Mr. Lord's appearance and submission of the declaration could not be compelled by the Court as an out of country witness. Typically a witness such as Mr. Lord, out of state and out of country, would be subpoenaed for a deposition that would be conducted where Mr. Lord is physically located. It odes not appear that such occurred so the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Mr. Lord was under no compulsory process to provide the declaration. Nor does it appear that Mr. Lord submitted the declaration as a designated expert (typically retained and paid for by a party). To the extent that Mr. Lord volunteered his analysis of swim times and world record progressions it would appear that he was treading close to the line of offering expert testimony even though it was arguably simply a compilation of times publicly available but ordinarily, even such simple calculations would be subject to scrutiny, when offered as expert testimony, as to methodology and surely the conclusion that the times were 2% faster is being implicitly offered to prove that Schubert's 2% claim was factually supportable. I do not know whether there were evidentiary objections filed to Mr. Lord's declaration but an objection on these grounds would be well founded.
And I would expect that Mr. Lord's "understanding" of what Coach Schubert meant in his 2% "comparison", p. 6, lines 18-20, would likewise be subject to a motion to strike.
Despite Mr. Lord's protestations and explanations I too find it curious that a journalist/reporter would willingly jump into a contentious litigation on behalf of one side in the subject area in which he has chosen to invest his journalist credibility as a reliable source for information to the interested community.

Tony Austin said...

QSWIM: helped turned a $300,000 company into a multinational, house hold name shoe brand

Craig Lord said...

IM TYPING IN CAPS AND SOMETIMES NOT BECAUSE I HAVE A BROKEN KEYBOARD AND MY WIFE IS USING MY LAPTOP RIGHT NOW...BUT HEY CHRIS, YOUve proved yourself A MASTER OF LATE WHEN IT COMES TO CALLING IT WRONG. Great job

Tony Austin said...

Chris is way more respected in the swim community than you are. And his nose isn't affidavit brown.

Chris DeSantis said...

When was I wrong? When I pointed out the inaccuracy of you, the big bad tracker of results, stating that Alexander Dale Oen being unfairly impacted by the "suits" when he had his breakout year and won a silver medal in the first "suits" year, 2008? Or when I pointed out that you had let your suits sour grapes spill all over Ariana Kukors great accomplishments this summer and then claimed later that you've given her all the credit due?
Or was it when I pointed out that none of the current LCM world record holders that achieved those results in the big bad suits had come out of nowhere, despite the claims made on your website?

Glenn said...

Wow..."your little blog".

BAM. Did that hurt Tony?

I had a flashback to the Wizard of Oz.

I'M GOING TO GET YOU TONY... YOU AND YOUR LITTLE BLOG TOO!!!

Anonymous said...

Craig Lord is an embarrassment to the sport of swimming. Who cares what some pseudo-journalist thinks about the suits? FINA, for better or worse, has banned them. Swimming moves on. Craig Lord should, too. On yer bike, mate.

Brammer said...

Looks like another case of semantic aphasia.

Craig Lord said...

Chris.

Higl. Explain.

I never wrote that any winner came from nowhere.. those are your words, not mine. I pointed out where people had come from and that was startkling enough in many cases.

Biedermann 6sec, 4sec. Phelps 1sec textile to shiny.
Explain (and do keep in mind the comments of Paul's coach)

Steffen 1sec. Lenton .2sec
Explain

LZR to 100% shiny
Rice 1sec
Kukors 4sec
Explain

The point, o ye the only true fans of swimming, was not to pour sour grapes (misuse of the term by the way) on anyone.

The result sheets of 2009 prove the point that was made by very many beyond me, a point that you simply refuse to acknowledge.

Alex D Oen became the 4th man under 1min in textile. And after Beijing he withdrew in hope of a better day. He hated the damn suits. He was far from being alone. He was, by his own reckoning, impacted by suits...or is it the swimmer you are now calling liar?

You were wrong, Chris, in many ways and on many points.

Anon... thank goodness, I'm not your mate. Embarrassment starts among those who can't find the courage to use the names their parents gave to them.

Chris DeSantis said...

Craig,

Once again, for someone who claims in an affidavit that his job is to track times, you seem to have a pretty fuzzy memory of trends in times. To answer your questions about the specific time drops.

Biedermann dropped 6 seconds in the 400 free, as you noted. To that I submit Evgeni Sadovyi of Russia, who dropped from 3:52.56 in December of 1990 to 3:45.00 in August of 1992. So in the span of 19 months, Sadovyi drops more time than Biedermann and rockets to the top of the world. I looked this up on your site, btw.

How about a four second drop in the 200 free? You mean like the one that Ian Thorpe had from 1997 to 1998? Its not like these things haven't happened before.

How about a girl dropping 1 second in one year at the highest level in the world in the 100 free. There are plenty of examples from the last twenty years. How about Inge De Bruijn going from 54.7 in '99 to 53.7 in '00? In the same year Therese Alshammar goes 55.7 to 54.3! And yet over the same time period other swimmers do not improve.

On to Rice and Kukors. A poor example since Rice had already improved 3 seconds from '07 to '08, then managed to shave off another full 1.5 seconds in '09. Case closed.

As for Dale Oen, the incontrovertible fact is that he got slower from '08 to '09, by .75 in the 100 breast. If he lowers his time in '09 just .22 seconds, he would have repeated as a medalist.

Craig Lord said...

Chris, you have to try much harder than that. Thorpe was 14 to 15 and Sadovyi 16 to 18 in the periods you mention. There is a huge difference. As Bob Bowman noted: what took him and Michael 5 years to drop (and we are talking about the most extraordinary of athletes) it took a matter of months for Paul to drop and his coach reckoned .7 a length. No idea how accurate Frank's assessment was but suffice it to say that Michael did not improve .7 a length on any swim from 2007 to 2008, even though he too had drops that you might not usually see. You are reading it wrong to suit your argument and that is how many of those senior coaches in your own programme in the US see it, it would seem to me from legion comments. Your take is a minority report.

Chris DeSantis said...

Evgeni Sadovyi, born January 19th 1973. Which would make him 17, not 16, for all but a few weeks of 1990.

(Cue political attack ad music)

Craid Lord, wrong on Sadovyi, wrong on the facts.

I'm Chris DeSantis and I approve this message.

p.s. "Minority Report" was my favorite Tom Cruise film of 2002.

Tony Austin said...

LOL - That was an awesome display of language

Scott said...

Tony, you're way off base in your interpretation of Craig Lord's words. He was not denigrating those who swim short course (that should be obvious as everyone swims short course) but rather simply stating the widely-held consensus that long course events and records are held in higher regard (because virtually all the premiere events are long course). You need to remember that as an American you have an inherent bias towards short course events because of your nation's singular adherence to short course yard pools. This is not the case in the rest of the world. Like Craig Lord I too have relied on long course times in tracking individuals' time progressions because of the added assurance that they reflect 'best efforts' rather than non-tapered swims.

P.S. I've found after writing anything in an agitated state it's best to leave it for a day and revisit it when a more objective assessment free from any emotion can be made. It's a must when writing reports and assessments for business - might as well apply it to your personal writing - especially as far more people are reading this blog than any internal memorandums you could write.

Scott said...

We have two opposite camps here who are entrenched and unwilling to give in to the other. Bantering about numbers and their meaning won't change anything. As Mark Twain wrote, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics".

We can, however, learn to be civil from all this. Mr. Lord, I gave up trying to convince Tony of the folly of tech suits some months ago - he's quite immovable in his support of the things. But he is not ignorant, far from it. Snide comments, innuendos, and shouting will be immediately recognized as such and responded to. Get a new keyboard if using the lower case is difficult, they're cheap. But, even better, if you feel you must respond to one of Tony's many inflammatory posts then I'd advise limiting yourself to merely explaining your position. Anything brusquely critiquing his blog will be accepted just about as well as America found a couple of planes taking out buildings in New York to be.

Craig Lord said...

So, he was 17 to 19... same thing aplplies...not like Paul B... simply does not compare. As I said. Explain. And Thorpe...still sticking with the 14 year old are we... think that is a good example do you? And Higl. Explain. I could go on and on, as you know. Because there are so many examples. Chris, you're full of wind. You called it like you did in the shiny suits era... and you were wrong.

Tony Austin said...

Scott, I respect everything you write. Your stuff is very thought out and measured.

Let me pose it this way:

Say I am journalist and say I was sent to Africa to cover the continent for the Times Online and I file a column each week. Now in my weekly assessment of the continent I file a story about the difficulties each nation is having and I report that a war has just started between Somalia and Ethiopia and I reference a comment that a General on one so side or the other said that was the premise of that conflict, did I not cover the story as a journalist?

The article surmises the cause of the war and that two sides are in conflict. I, the author of the column, have educated the public that all is not well.

That is the definition of covering a story.

Scott said...

Thank you for those considerate words Tony but I have to disagree with you in the strongest possible terms. The current downfall of today's mass media is its failure to apply normal journalistic standards in their reporting, being satisfied instead with simply reprinting propaganda from both sides as if both are equally valid. They even brag about it being "fair and balanced". That's not journalism, that's communication using bigger and louder megaphones. True journalism is to dig behind the rhetoric to discover all those damaging truths hidden away from view, and then report all facts found so that any reader can reach their own conclusions about what constitutes the truth or not. That crucial task is why journalism is accorded the high accolade of being society's Fourth Estate; and why our democracy rests in large part upon its health. Read the papers of your country's founding fathers; read Paine, Jefferson, and Madison and you will understand what I mean.

In respect to the Craig Lord article you relied upon in making your accusation his reference was, without any doubt at all, only just that, a reference. Merely an example intended to provide some understanding of the turmoil caused by the new suits. He made no attempt to communicate the facts involved in the lawsuit, nor did he write anything that could be construed as biased. Consequently Craig Lord did not report on the pending case and therefore is not in conflict with the ethics of his profession.

Sorry Tony.

Craig Lord said...

Scott,

Thanks you for your measured take on things. I fully appreciate that the whole suits saga and the outcome has left a minority of people still angry and prone to bitterness. I will, however, defend myself when the truth is twisted to suit the argument. The US is a big place, and within a swimming community divided on the suits issue, I heard more support for my views than not. I am also happy to note that the world media database shows one overwhelming theme: the athletes are, overwhelmingly, happy that the shiny suits are gone and that they can get on with swimming out of the shadow of stuff neither they nor the sport need. I'm happy to have played a small part in a large movement around the world that led to the passing of suits that skew the result sheet. And now I really must be going. Enjoy the swimming. Regards to all.

Tony Austin said...

No they are not! I have talked to parents and agents of several athletes who state otherwise.

Rowdy Gaines has even published two comments to this blog validating these aforementioned feelings from what he has heard too.

In fact, one A-list in the UK makes so little money that this person would make more money working at Starbucks or as a waitress at a franchised diner.

Even I make more money than a particular A-List here swimmer who holds a WR.

It is supply and demand, Craig. No one is going to pay $260 for a pair of jammers hence ad and marketing budgets will get slashed.

Tony Austin said...

Hey Craig, are you gonna submit another affidavit on behalf of USA Swimming in regards to the sex abuse lawsuits and then deny that you even covered the stories?

You cover swimming like an Australian journalist and that is not a compliment.