Drugs cheat meets his accuser — Daily Mail Online
CELEBRATION, Florida — Lance Armstrong has spent the past year dealing with the consequences of his drug cheating but here, in a quaint little town in Florida, he is about to face the woman who brought him down.
Emma O’Reilly was a soigneur on the U.S. Postal cycling team Armstrong represented in winning the first six of his seven Tour de France titles. Her job was to feed him, massage him, take care of his every need so he could focus on riding his bike. Not only that; she used concealer from her make-up bag to cover up needle marks on his arm and traveled to Spain to collect banned substances on his behalf.
She was also the person who first told the truth. The whistleblower who first spoke out because she could no longer stand by and watch Armstrong and his teammates cheat in a culture encouraged by the officials and team doctors she feels should also be held to account. Twenty-six riders died in suspicious circumstances in less than two decades.
For that, Armstrong trashed her reputation, publicly branding her an alcoholic whore and including her in the legal proceedings that she feared, for years, would ruin her. “I thought he was going to take everything from me,” she said.
Today they are reunited, the accuser and the drug cheat, for the first time since she exposed him nine years ago. They haven’t met, in fact, since she resigned in 2000 because she could not accept the drug culture that had developed within the U.S. Postal team. But now she needs closure. She needs to look into his eyes, into his soul, and see that he really is sorry for the way he treated her.
“It was too big a situation to just have a chat about it on the phone,” she says. “I wanted to eyeball him. You can’t keep kicking an injured dog. I wasn’t here to humiliate him. But I wanted closure.”