Irish News

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Masseuse rejects Armstrong apology

Published 18/01/2013 | 09:35

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Lance Armstrong speaks to Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas (AP/Harpo Studios)

Lance Armstrong's former masseuse has rejected his apology after he admitted bullying her for speaking out about his cheating.

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Emma O'Reilly, from Dublin, who the Texan cyclist sued after she publicly denounced his use of performance-enhancing drugs, said his confession was "old news" to her.

In his interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong said he had bullied O'Reilly for telling the truth about his drug-taking.

Speaking on ITV Daybreak, Ms O'Reilly said she had missed a call from Armstrong on Sunday because of poor coverage, but that he had sent a text saying: "This is Lance, call me please, thanks."

She said sorry was "not at all" enough after what he put her through, but that she would not be suing him back because she did not want to employ his tactics.

Asked if she felt vindicated by Armstrong's fall from grace, she said: "All of it has never felt like vindication - I can never think of another word to use, but I hate that word because it suggests almost that there was some vindictiveness.

"I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were comfortable with cheating as Lance was.

"You could see when they went over to the dark side their personalities change, and I always felt it was an awful shame - these were young lads in the prime of their life having to make this awful decision, kind of living the dream, yet the dream is a nightmare.

"That was always why I had spoken out - it wasn't about Lance, it was about drugs and cycling."

O'Reilly worked with Armstrong's US Postal Service team from 1996 to 2000 as he began to dominate the Tour de France.

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