'Alcoholic wh*re': Lance Armstrong opens up on 'lowest act'

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Lance Armstrong on the podium at the Tour de France in 2005. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

For all the doping, lying and cheating, Lance Armstrong says his lowest act was actually his treatment of former physio Emma O’Reilly.

The disgraced cycling figure has opened up in new ESPN documentary ‘LANCE’, speaking out about his life and many controversies.

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Armstrong finally admitted to years of doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

The shock admission came after he’d already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after a lengthy investigation.

In the new documentary, Armstrong says he deeply regrets the way he tried to discredit O’Reilly after she told a journalist about his cheating years earlier.

When asked about his lowest act, Armstrong said it was calling O’Reilly an ‘alcoholic wh*re’ as his lawyers tried to sue her.

“Probably the way I treated and spoke about Emma O’Reilly,” Armstrong said.

“To call a woman a ‘wh*re’ is totally unacceptable. It’s hard to be worse than that.

“Why did I do it? I was an idiot and in full attack mode. I’d have said anything.”

Physio wanted widespread changes to cycling

O’Reilly said she didn’t have anything against Armstrong personally but wanted cycling’s governing body to be held accountable for widespread doping in the sport.

“I looked after riders. If I did want to speak out, it was to do good. My whole thing was about the UCI,” O’Reilly says in the documentary.

“It’s them that are creating this problem. It annoyed me that the whole system was not to protect riders.

“They were fodder for other people’s grand plans.”

Oprah Winfrey speaks with Lance Armstrong in an interview in 2013. (Photo by George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images)

Armstrong actually attempted to apologise to O’Reilly after his interview with Oprah, but she said it wasn’t enough.

“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,” she said.

“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.”