Things aren't looking good for Lance Armstrong: a former assistant, who first told her tale of the team's alleged doping abuses nearly a decade ago, says her goal has never been to bring him down.
In fact, Emma O'Reilly's ideal outcome is much more positive.
Here's what she said:
"I'm hoping and in the long term think it will be good for cycling and it will be good for the riders involved in cycling because I think that now more than ever, this is the opportunity for riders to have the choice to ride clean and stay clean if they choose to."
She is one of 26 witnesses who testified to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency about Lance Armstrong and his tactics, telling the agency she made trips to pick up and drop off what she assumed were things to dope with.
Emma said she was even in the room when Armstrong and two other team officials planned to backdate a prescription for corticosteroids for a saddle sore to explain a positive steroid test result during the 1999 Tour de France!!
"[He said], "Now, Emma, you know enough to bring me down." The quote has got a bit dramatized. History has shown that I didn't have enough to bring him down, and I never wanted to bring him down. Never, ever wanted to bring Lance down.
"You know, I always felt kind of guilty in a way that I wasn't a proper soigneur by not getting involved in the medical program. Because traditionally with soigneur, that's been our role, to be involved with the medical program. And at the time, I probably stood out a bit because I didn't, so I probably felt a bit like, yeah, I'll do it."
She came forward in a journalist's book all the way back in 2003, for good reasons. It's a shame that only now there are ramifications coming from it:
"A lot of riders had died in the previous year, and I was convinced that their deaths were prematurely caused by the use of doping products. I started to feel that my silence helped allow the doping culture to remain in place and thought that by refusing to speak up about my experience in cycling, I was no better than the directors, doctors and trainer who were actively running the doping programs."
We're glad she did.
For a while, we totally were giving Lance the benefit of the doubt because of his achievements and his anti-cancer work. Now, we're not so sure.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: abuse, benefit, cancer, death, doctor, doctors, lance armstrong, medical, sad