Lance Armstrong, a 41-year-old cancer survivor cyclist who won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, is liable to face a lawsuit which might be filed by Emily O’Reilly against him for verbal abuse.
O’Reilly, 42-years-old, joined the US Postal Service cycling team in 1996 as a masseuse, which was later joined by Armstrong in 1998.
A cyclist enthusiast herself, she was thrilled working with the sport’s top athletes, particularly with Armstrong, whom she developed a brother-sister sort of relationship, but her joy was short-lived when she discovered the rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs such as EPO, cortisone and growth hormones.
After she left the team, she kept her mouth shut for four years, but decided to speak out when the 1998 Tour winner Mario Panteni, 34, died from heart failure caused by drug overdose on February 14, 2004.
She got involved with the book LA Confidential where details of her story were integrated into the book published later in 2004.
Armstrong retaliated and called O’Reilly a prostitute and an alcoholic and filed for a L.1 million legal claim against her and a Sunday newspaper, which was dropped two years later.
Due to her revelations, thorough investigations ensued, and in 2012 the U. S. Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Armstrong used banned performance-enhancing substances during the years he participated and won seven titles.
He was then stripped of those titles, including other honors he received during those years, and was banned from cycling for life.
Armstrong categorically denied the accusations for several months, until he owned up to the truth in a televised interview by Oprah Winfrey on January 18th, Friday.
O’Reilly has mixed emotions whether to take legal action against Armstrong or show him the compassion he never offered her, as told to a reporter on January 20th, Sunday.
Travis Tygart, the chief executive of USADA who led the investigation, sent her a letter thanking her for her courage and said “in the end truth and courage always win”, as reported.