Armstrong's 2004 "concern" and warning about synthetic haemoglobin

Mar 18, 2009
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From a June 2004 CN update:

Armstrong's warning

On the eve of the second stage of the Dauphiné Libéré in France, US Postal Service spokesman Jörg Muller confirmed that Lance Armstrong did send an e-mail to the Tour de France, UCI, and WADA warning of a specific doping method, as described in former Tour adjunct director Daniel Baal's new book, released Tuesday.

Despite insinuations by the French newspaper Le Monde that Armstrong's concern over the possible use of synthetic haemoglobin (derived from bovine blood) in the peloton was directed at his Spanish rivals in particular, Baal and the team both insist that the message was one of general interest and not an attack by the American.

"I saw the e-mail with my own eyes and there was nothing mean-spirited in Armstrong's message," Baal said, quoted in Tuesday's l'Equipe. "He said it in his usual fashion: Do what you can to look into this product..."

US Postal added that "He never accused the Spanish. We're surprised that the information would come out like that, as it can only spark a fight between the riders."
In light of everything we now know, what the heck was Armstrong's email really about? He found out about a doping method he wasn't using, and so urging WADA and UCI to test for it so the Spaniards he was worried about (i.e. Mayo, who took 2 minutes out of him on the Ventoux in the 2004 Dauphine) couldn't use this technique to beat him? Coincidentally, Mayo flopped in the 2004 Tour. :rolleyes:

Any idea how Armstrong found out about Mayo's use of this stuff? Who on his team (Euskatel-Euskadi) might have ratted him out?

Level playing field?
 
Dec 27, 2010
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I'd be surprised if Mayo didn't get warned in a meeting with the UCI shortly after the Dauphine, as Hamilton did. I suspect Lance was just reminding the UCI that they were in this together ;)

Mayo was fried mentally before the mountains in 2004 unfortunately. The four minutes he lost on the cobbles stage put paid to that. He may have toned it down after the Dauphine or just had no motivation to perform (wasn't he first to get dropped on one of the big mountain stages? I remember his DS convincing him to not abandon when he was already in the team car).
 
Mar 18, 2009
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will10 said:
I'd be surprised if Mayo didn't get warned in a meeting with the UCI shortly after the Dauphine, as Hamilton did. I suspect Lance was just reminding the UCI that they were in this together ;)

Mayo was fried mentally before the mountains in 2004 unfortunately. The four minutes he lost on the cobbles stage put paid to that. He may have toned it down after the Dauphine or just had no motivation to perform (wasn't he first to get dropped on one of the big mountain stages? I remember his DS convincing him to not abandon when he was already in the team car).
I remember that too. But I have to wonder if Mayo was fried before the mountains because he was forced - because of Armstrong's "concern" and email - to ride clean.

Would be interesting to hear from him...
 
Oct 21, 2012
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It's quite possible that he simply gave up after losing all that time in the first week rather than being scared out of using his 'new' product. Tyler, after all, wasn't intimidated by the UCI meeting one bit.
 
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