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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 23 September, 2014

Lance Armstrong case: Irish masseuse, Emma O’Reilly, claims she worked as ‘drug-runner’ for US Postal team

The Dubliner has long talked out against Armstrong.

Vindicated: Emma O'Reilly.
Vindicated: Emma O'Reilly.

IRISH JOURNALISTS Paul Kimmage and David Walsh have rightly been credited with helping to expose Lance Armstrong as one of the biggest cheats in sporting history.

But the pair have taken criticism and fought legal battles for over a decade as they tried to do so.

So too has Dublin-born masseuse Emma O’Reilly.

O’Reilly’s testimony made up part of the incredible USADA report which was released last week and labelled Armstrong as the ringleader of a sophisticated and cynical doping programme.

On a BBC radio documentary to be broadcast tonight, O’Reilly — who was the seven-time Tour de France champion’s personal masseuse and assistant in the 1990s – alleges she was used as a “drug runner” during her time working for the Armstrong’s US Postal team.

“I went down in an unmarked car, a good six hours drive, and also that was another reason I knew it was something (untoward) because Lance had said to me ‘don’t tell your boyfriend’,” she says in the piece on Five Live.

“There’s no way in hell am I going to bring him down, crossing over a border (and) pick up a package. Basically as I used to say to some of the soigneurs (team assistants), ‘you are drug runners’, and that’s what I was being for the weekend. And to involve (her boyfriend) in it, without letting him know that ‘here, you can come with me if you want, but here’s what I’m doing’….

“So we went down, six hours down that way, Johan [Bruyneel] gave me the tablets, very discretely, without letting anybody else know that I was getting them, and the following day we want back up to France and then the following morning I met Lance in the car park at McDonald’s and just handed them over.”

Bruyneel quit as general manager of the RadioShack Nissan Trek team by mutual agreement on Friday.

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