TheSportsChronicle.com, the media site backed by Jamie Heaslip and launched earlier this year has published a new interview with Emma O’Reilly, the former soigneur to Lance Armstrong and the US Postal cycling team.
In the interview, she says that she still doesn’t blame the riders for doping and that they were failed by those that were supposed to be protecting them at the time.
“To this day, I have no problem with the riders going on the program because I saw the dilemma they were in,” said O’Reilly.
“The reason I spoke out was not about the riders but about the situation they were put in and they were not being protected by the people that were meant to protect them. These are athletes that will do anything to win.”
The full feature “Living in the slipstream of Lance Armstrong” by Emma O’Reilly is live now on TheSportsChronicle.com and full audio is available on The Sports Chronicle podcast.
O’Reilly also said that people are wrong to label Lance Armstrong a sociopath saying, “I’m no expert, but to me, he’s not a sociopath. Lance has a really nice side to him and there is a real decency in him as well as this complete will to win.”
We have some history with Armstrong having been part of the One-Zero team that nearly brought him to Dublin back in 2016 for what promised at the time to be a no holds barred interview with journalist Ewan McKenna.
Armstrong withdrew from the event with 24 hours to go, an action that will live long in the memory but it has to be said up until that point he had been easy to deal with and he is a good speaker on cycling and on the culture of doping. It’s just there’s all that other stuff as well…
O’Reilly was one of the whistleblowers on the doping culture within cycling which ultimately led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Following the fallout out from the doping revelations, O’Reilly and Armstrong reconciled and are back in contact.
Speaking about their reconciliation O’Reilly said, “Forgiveness has really helped me move on with my life, but I got more hassle for forgiving Lance than for speaking out in the first place, people still hate me for forgiving him.”
It’s a story that never seems to go away and which continues to exercise a real fascination.
You can read the interview at TheSportsChronicle.com