When Lance Armstrong sat across Oprah Winfrey through his staged mea culpa, it was a slick and yet mechanical performance by a man who had made something of a career out of manipulation.
Admitting for the first time that he had doped his way to all seven of his Tour de France victories, the admission was delivered with a polish that told of long hours of rehearsal with slick lawyers. Out of the saddle, but still in control!
When Oprah asked him why he was confessing, he replied, “I don’t know that I have a great answer.” We could answer for him: because he had been rumbled by 202 pages of damning evidence in the US Anti-Doping Agency’s recent report, compiled with the help of 26 witnesses including 11 former team-mates.
His contrition was forced upon him. Just a few weeks ago Armstrong’s lawyer Tim Herman was calling USADA’s report a ‘one-sided hatchet job’. That was before it published and revealed him to be at the centre of ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program sport has ever seen.’
His malevolence ran deeper than being the team leader under whose controlling influence syringes and vials were smuggled past fans mid-race in Coke cans. He was also a bully and intimidator. You question him and he would sue.
However, the most revealing line was perhaps this: ‘I viewed it as very simple. You had a thing that was oxygen-boosting drugs that were beneficial for endurance sports, and that’s all you needed.’ That was Lance Edward Armstrong’s mantra for as long as he could get away with it. It was the credo of a cheat. And what the shamed icon said to Oprah, having been flushed out, embarrassed and left fighting to keep hold of his multi-million dollar fortune, was merely convenience and contrivance!
Although the public confession of this flawed man who is now being raked through the coals in Oprah’s very public interview may evoke some sympathy from some for cheating, it is difficult to fathom how much sympathy would be accorded to the European Commission (EC) when the day comes when they stand exposed as a fake!
For what the EC, specifically the Directorate Environment of the EC, had done was to fund and condone false campaigns against palm oil that they are fully aware are premised on “manufactured” and false evidence all in the misguided aim to protect the EU’s own indigenous edible oilseed crops that are unable to compete in the open market against palm oil. This is even more reprehensible for the EC is aware that these actions will impact on the livelihoods of smallholders who account for more than 40% of global palm oil production.
Recently, Libertiamo, in a paper entitled “Taxpayer funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crisis” has blown the cover of EU Governments who are openly funding green NGOs, ostensibly to improve environmental practices in developing countries, but in reality to prop up the EU’s indigenous edible oilseed industries.
Although Lance now stand accused of destroying the lives of hundreds connected with the sport of competitive and Olympic cycling, the EC through their conniving ways will affect adversely the lives of millions connected with palm oil cultivation and its downstream activities!
Smallholders, many of whom have come into palm oil cultivation by participating in government sponsored rural poverty eradication programs have to face the real likelihood of denying their children the little aspects of life that have as much to do with subsistence as well as hope and quality of life such as 3 square meals and tertiary education, stuff that the people in the EU take for granted!
When the day of reckoning arrives and the EC has to face the uncomfortable glare of world headlines revealing the EC shady dealings and character flaws in dealings with their surrogate green groups, it will be their turn to have the humiliating experience of squirming in the seat as Lance Armstrong had to endure. THE END