Armstrong's former soigneur says that the disgraced rider's bullying tactics contributed to him receiving a lifetime ban

>>>Can Lance Armstrong be forgiven?

Lance Armstrong deserves his lifetime ban from competitive cycling, according to his former soigneur Emma O’Reilly, but she believes the sanction is too far-reaching.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly at Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace, London, O’Reilly described Armstrong as one of the sport’s ‘biggest bullies’, which she believes played some part in the rider’s unprecedented ban.

“I think Lance is paying a big price for being a bully,” she said. “I think his back is against the wall at the moment because it’s difficult for him to talk because of the other things going on.”

Armstrong’s ban covers any event sanctioned by signatories to the World Anti-Doping Association code, which ultimately included the Gran Fondo Hincapie charity ride in October.

But O’Reilly feels prohibiting Armstrong from participating in such events may be a step too far.

“It’s a hard one because he did deserve a proper punishment,” she continued. “But say the Gran Fondo  event, does that help cycling by not letting a man who can raise a lot of money for a charity? I don’t see how that helps.

“I don’t agree with ‘an eye for an eye’ – I struggle with that concept – but we should be punished if we do something wrong.

“But Lance didn’t just do something wrong, he was also the biggest bully.”

Read the full feature with Emma O’Reilly on Cycling Weekly later this week

  • Diesel Cummins

    Either you live in a cave without access to any media whatsoever or you are illiterate or simply cannot be bothered to read the books written by David Walsh, Paul Kimmage, Chris Bessons, Tyler Hamilton or Emma herself, and if you can’t be bothered to dip into those just Google Frankie Andreu and his missus’ testimony to get the bare bones of the “evidence”.
    And furthermore I was also an Armstrong apologist for years until presented with the undeniable facts, believing he was innocent as he’d never failed a dope test. Let down yet again by one of my heroes.

  • Diesel Cummins

    Where’s the evidence? You’re having a laugh ain’t yer?

  • gr ice

    Allana I totally agree with you. There was no one like Lance
    and never will be.
    Yes he deserved punishment, but its a total joke now, this man can bring in hundreds one millions of dollars in revenue for charities, its just everyone out to get him, people just cant see anyone being successful, yes he doped but so did the rest & it is still going on today by others. so where is justice, reinstate his titles and let him compete in the things he wants to compete in, ie triathlons, marathons etc.

  • gr ice

    Your on about Lance & his bully tactics, what people forget in any sport or industry work place, you need a leader, someone that drives the team forward, whether it be harsh words to motivate individuals etc, look at manchester united under alex ferguson, if you didn’t play ball you were out the door no matter how good you were & that goes for all teams in sport,if you dont like it move on , the problem with most people they don’t like being told what to do! and this is why all the worms are coming out of the wood work, because someone opened up first & the rest followed, its all a money making game, law suites everyone trying to make money from it thats all jealous of his achievements . everyone was on dope in that days when cycling, the other thing is why haven’t the UCI banned the rest of the dopers they caught for life, Lance was never caught,apart from a simple skin cream. the most tested cyclist ever. its just people out to get him for a reason of he wasn’t scared to speak his mind. i agree there must be punishment, but for crying out loud it is a total joke punishing one guy like that, this guy still rode his bike to the top of these mountains to come first in most & blitz the time trials of many, also the marathons he ran in exceptional times for a cyclist, he is an icon, he brings in so much money for charities, leave the guy along, give him back his titles and lift his life ban on sport & let him compete in marathons, triathlons etc, he is to old to compete in professional cycling now. Professional cycling is not the same since he retired.

  • Steph Durant

    “End of discussion.”

    Well, there’s someone who is confident in his argument(s)!

    Just a little tip … if you insist on using that, do expect that most all intelligent people will end any consideration of your argument(s).

    For that matter, same with insisting on swearing (aka a false attempt at ‘conviction’).

  • Allana Clare

    This is the first time I have commented on any report and the response I have received is disgraceful. Nothing but bullying and insults and ignoring my point. If it weren’t for letting the bullies win I would close my disqus account.

  • Philomena’s Revenge

    Allana, you think people who know Armstrong is guilty are your personal google service? USADA published a 200 page document document with over 1000 pages of supporting facts. Google is your friend, it’s all available online

  • hailpantani

    Can’t really be bothered replying to this post, other than to say read Ian’s post below – he adds the detail I didn’t think I needed to supply – as it’s already available to all, and is undeniable.

  • Allana Clare

    I still have not seen any reliable evidence so cannot judge for myself. That is fact, not a comment on Emma’s honesty.
    I know from personal experience how newspapers can twist things, and not always deliberately, so do not trust their reports as a matter of policy. I also do not either get a newspaper or watch the news on the tele so do not get it that way.
    However that may be, my original point has been lost in the over focus on my secondary point.
    Lance is still being a scapegoat for a whole generation – if not more – and that is not justice. He is himself being bullied; which also is not justice. We all need to move on from this; and to see a man’s entire life taken away from him like this (other than for rape or murder) is disgraceful

  • ian franklin

    Sorry Allana, nothing abusive meant or intended. I don’t do abuse. You may have misread or misinterpreted. It was a reference to Emma’s very powerful evidence and the way a woman was so badly treated by powerful men.

  • Boyseys Mum

    I just think he needs to move on and do other things, different jobs and hobbies/interests. Loads of people do things wrong and people dont deserve to be punished for the rest of their lives unless its something like murder. Theres worse thugs than him about, look at people like Tony Blair he got away with with mass murder.

  • Allana Clare

    I ask for evidence and you accuse me of casting aspersions. Insults do not prove a case, just the opposite. Your comments have now, in my opinion, become abusive. They certainly are not helpful

  • ian franklin

    It’s sad that you cast aspertions on thetestimonyof a woman who was treated cruelly by Armstrong with public statements (many witnesses) calling her a whore. Interestingly, she got an apology from Lance after theOprah show and even says in her book (p284) that it was unfair of the authorities to strip him of his TdF ‘wins’. So you could show some wider understanding of this issue Allana. Especially of another woman.

  • ian franklin

    Well Allana, one cannot sit here and produce evidence: But if you need help with this: Emma’s Book, David Walsh’s Books and his evidence in court* and the books of people like Hamilton; Christopher Bassons is a great read (that may give you some insight). Try Cycle of Lies too. The documentary evidence is overwhelming. Also bear in mind that any psychological assessment would now show Armstrong to be a sociopath. I have vast experience in this field and I can also confirm that his public behaviour has all the hallmarks of a sociopath. And that’s the reason, as I have said so many times, that I do not condemn him out of hand. He is mentally sick. The sad thing is that in many walks of life – the worst being public/political life, sociopaths are responsible for a lot of damage.

    *David lost the case at the time because of Armstrong’s lies and perjury, but settled after his Oprah Winfrey show so-called ‘confession’ and repaid the Sunday Times

  • Allana Clare

    Even if true, I have still seen no evidence, only a lot of people shouting the odds. I have no way of knowing how true any of it is.
    Unfortunately, your reply is just more of the same. Show me evidence.

  • ian franklin

    There is a stack of evidence about Armstrong’s tactics that kept journalists and fellow riders who dared to question him at arm’s length. More than that he terrified people like Emma and Lemond’s Mrs. Anyone who dared question him were subject to verbal abuse and indeed there are tales of strong-armed tactics that went beyond the mere verbals. Those of us who have worked with mental health issues immediately recognised LA as a sociopath. I think I was one of the first to post this allegation on a cycling website some years back and got suspended for my troubles. I have had, still have, two sociopaths in my family and the behaviour patterns compared with Lance’s are identical. A sociopath cannot accept responsibility because they genuinely do not recognise that their behaviour is out of line. That’s why they always blame others. The members of my family do this and we have all heard Lance blaming others – fellow riders, the peloton etc etc. To my mind he has a serious mental health issue. I have always hoped (fat chance!) that he will recognise this and set up a Foundation that would help fellow sufferers. It won’t happen and Lance won’t shut his mouth about being treated unfairly and so on because he genuinely believes he has been hard done by. Such is the nature of a sociopath.

  • hailpantani

    Crikey – can you read? How much evidence do you need re. Armstrong bullying women and fellow riders?

  • Allana Clare

    part of the problem is that Armstrong is being punished for the sins of a whole generation. Sure he doped. Sure , he’s a fighter. That was the culture of the time. It’s time for an amnesty for all doping offences prior to about 2010, but bigger punishments for those caught now.
    I, personally, have no evidence that he was a bully and will not accuse him without such evidence.
    Emma O’Reilly says he is: where’s the evidence?

  • Gib

    Just watched “Lance Armstrong: Stop at Nothing.” Never really followed Lance Armstrong, but sounds like he was a sociopath and deserves harsh punishments. I don’t know how badly his cancer may have changed his view on life. Maybe he atoned for some of his sins, but wouldn’t be wrong to set an example for future cheaters. There are hundreds of Lance Armstrongs out there in sports, movies, music, Silicon Valley, etc. Sadly most will never be caught. Best we can do is try to prevent these situations.

  • Steph Durant


    We could have “allowed” Lance’s doping; a lot of cyclists were cheating.

    But, Lance was a thug, and thugged anyone who got in his way, who spoke against him or doping, any teammate that wouldn’t play along, bribed any official that got ‘caught’ with Lance-is-positive sample in his/her hands.

    He made up his own rules, to ensure he won, and damned be anyone who didn’t go along with his plan.

    He says, “cycling clean was like bringing knives to a gunfight”. (How very original.) Thing is, Lance didn’t bring a gun to the gunfight: he brought multiple machine guns, flamethrowers and poison gas. And he continues to want to ignore that.

    Well, good riddance to him.