Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 18, 2013

Armstrong admits doping: 'I'm a flawed character'

(Continued)

The closest Armstrong came to contrition was when Winfrey asked him about his apologies in recent days, notably to former teammate Frankie Andreu, who struggled to find work in cycling after Armstrong dropped him from the USPS team, as well as his wife, Betsy. Armstrong said she was jealous of his success, and invented stories about his doping as part of a long-running vendetta.

"Have you made peace?" Winfrey asked.

"No," Armstrong replied, "because they've been hurt too badly, and a 40-minute (phone) conversation isn't enough."

He also called London Sunday Times reporter David Walsh as well as Emma O'Reilly, who worked as a masseuse for the USPS team and later provided considerable material for a critical book Walsh wrote about Armstrong and his role in cycling's doping culture.

Armstrong subsequently sued for libel in Britain and won a $500,000 judgment against the newspaper, which is now suing to get the money back. Armstrong was, if anything, even more vicious in the way he went after O'Reilly. He intimated she was let go from the Postal team because she seemed more interested in personal relationships than professional ones.

"What do you want to say about Emma O'Reilly?" Winfrey asked.

"She, she's one of these people that I have to apologize to. She's one of these people that got run over, got bullied."

"You sued her?"

"To be honest, Oprah, we sued so many people I don't even," Armstrong said, then paused, "I'm sure we did."

Near the end of the first interview installment, Winfrey asked about a federal investigation of Armstrong that was dropped by the Justice Department without charges.

"When they dropped the case, did you think: 'Now, finally over, done, victory'?"

Armstrong looked up. He exhaled.

"It's hard to define victory," he said. "But I thought I was out of the woods."

___

AP Sports Writers Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas, Eddie Pells in Denver and Dennis Passa in Melbourne contributed to this report.

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