Irish masseuse rejects Armstrong's apology

Lance Armstrong

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

Dubliner Emma O'Reilly, 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.

When asked how he felt about labelling her a "hore", he said: "not good."

"I was just on the attack, Oprah," he said.

"Territory being threatened, team being threatened, reputation being threatened - I'm on attack."

Speaking on ITV's '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.

"She is one of these people that I have to apologise to," Armstrong told Winfrey. "She is one of these people that got run over, got bullied."

When pressed by the at times forceful veteran broadcaster, he replied: "To be honest Oprah, we sued so many people, I'm sure we did."

Asked if she felt vindicated by Armstrong's fall from grace, O'Reilly 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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