Emma O’Reilly, the Irishwoman at the heart of the Lance Armstrong story, has rejected the American drug cheat’s attempts at an apology.
Disgraced cyclist Armstrong admitted in his Oprah Winfrey interview that he had attempted to apologise to O’Reilly for his treatment of her.
The Dubliner had worked as a physio and masseuse with Armstrong’s team at the Tour de France and was labelled a ‘whore’ by the cyclist after she spoke about his drug abuse to Irish journalist David Walsh.
Now O’Reilly has rejected his apology and spoken out after he admitted to bullying her in the wake of her interview with Walsh.
O’Reilly, who was sued by Armstrong after the Walsh book L.A. Confidential was published, told ITV breakfast television in Britain that his confession was ‘old news’ to her.
She said: “I missed a call from Armstrong on Sunday night. He then sent a text saying: ‘This is Lance, call me please, thanks’.
“Sorry is not at all enough at this stage. 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.
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“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 - they were just young lads in the prime of their life having to make this awful decision, sort 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.”
Armstrong had earlier admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he had tried to apologise to O’Reilly for his vicious personal attacks on her.
She had worked with the US Postal Service team from 1996 to 2000 and was one of the key whistleblowers in the case against Armstrong.
After labelling O’Reilly a ‘whore’ and an ‘alcoholic’, Armstrong tried to apologise on Sunday night.
The shamed star told Oprah: “She’s one of these people that I have to apologise to. She’s one of these people who got run over, who got bullied.”
Asked if he had taken legal action against O’Reilly, a hesitant Armstrong added: “To be honest Oprah we sued so many people… I’m sure we did.”
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“I have reached out to her and tried to make those amends on my own. My actions were not good.
“I was just on the attack - territory being threatened, team being threatened, reputation being threatened. I was on the attack.
“It’s a major flaw and it’s a guy who expected to get what he wanted and control every outcome. And it’s inexcusable.
“When I say there were people that will hear this that will never forgive me, I understand that. I do. I have started that process. All of this is a process for me. One of the steps in that process is to speak to those people directly and say to them that I am sorry and that I was wrong, you were right.”
Lance Armstrong Admits Doping & Confession