The Irish journalist at the heart of the Lance Armstrong story has said he would accept a face to face apology from the disgraced American cyclist.

Sunday Times writer David Walsh told the BBC that he even feels “a little bit of sympathy” for Armstrong after his admission of drug-taking.

Armstrong said in his TV interview with Oprah Winfrey that he would consider apologizing to Walsh, who has led the campaign against the seven time Tour de France winner.

Walsh told BBC, “I know this is going to sound preposterous, but I felt a little but of sympathy for Armstrong.

“Intellectually he had to be remorseful, but emotionally he couldn’t do it. Basically, Armstrong knew what he had to do but he wasn’t capable of doing it because obviously he’s got serious personality issues.

“Lance needed to look remorseful and repentant and you would see a flicker of a smirk crossing his face, and he didn’t mean to do that -- it was involuntary.”

The BBC has reported that among the personal attacks aimed by Armstrong at Walsh was the implication that Walsh had a vendetta against the sport since Walsh’s son John was knocked off his bicycle and killed at the age of 12.

Walsh has described the allegation as “insensitive to the point of evil.”

He added, “I’m not looking for an apology, I don’t need one and I don’t want one. But if he does offer, it will be gratefully accepted.

“I would have lots of questions for Armstrong. I would really want to find out what happened to make him the way he turned out to be.”

Meanwhile, Armstrong’s Irish-born former masseuse, Emma O’Reilly, who also accused him of doping several years ago, is mulling a lawsuit against Armstrong, who called her an “alcoholic whore” among other things when her allegations first came to light.  

“Sometimes in life you should stand up and be counted and women should not be spoken to, and spoken about in the way he did,” O’Reilly said.

“But I also feel that one of the options I should examine is just to leave this and get on with my life. My gut is telling me a bit of both. It’s about self-respect sometimes.”

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