Home
Millar free to ride in time trial and road race in Delhi 2010… Olympic ban still stands though

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) has lifted the lifetime ban it imposed on David Millar which will allow him to compete for his country in the road race and time trial at next year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Millar had appealed against the lifetime ban imposed by the organisation in the light of his 2004 ban for using EPO, Millar's strong anti-doping stance since admitting his use of EPO was given as the reason for the rescinding of his lifetime ban. The Scots rider has been vocal in his denunciations of doping and dopers in cycling, he currently rides for the US Garmin Transitions team which is noted within the sport for the strong stance it takes on doping, Millar is also the British representative on the World AntiDoping Agency's (WADA) athlete's panel.

In a statement confirming the decision, Jon Doig, CGS Chief Executive said: “The CGS Board felt that since his return to cycling David has become an active campaigner and educator about doping in sport and has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate himself and share his experiences with others in an attempt to promote the anti-doping message. David has now been cleared to compete for Scotland in Delhi subject to achieving the necessary performance selection standards.”

Welcoming the news Millar said: “I am absolutely delighted with the decision. It would be an honour to race for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and to give something back to the country that has given me so much. I am proud to be a Scot and feel that I have been supported incredibly through the bad times as well as the good by Scotland.
 
“I made mistakes as a younger athlete in a dirty sport, and I will have to live with those mistakes for the rest of my life, but I have changed and I know I bring something beneficial to not only cycling but also sport as a whole.  
 
“I have been so pro-active in my fight against doping because I believe I can make a difference, and I also believe that the mistakes I made as an athlete were fully preventable.  If the example I now give and education I provide can prevent a younger version of me from making the same mistakes I made than I could not ask for more.”

If he is selected for the Scottish team, and so long as he remains injury free that seems pretty much a given, Millar told Richard Moore in The Guardian that he would be targetting the time trial in Delhi but he would also hope to compete in the road race. A measure of how seriously he is taking the chance to represent his country is his insistence that he will use the Vuelta as a warm-up event for Delhi. In an intriguing aside it would seem that Millar was encouraged to appeal against the life ban by Scottish Cycling.

While next year's Commonweath Games now looks a very realistic prospect for the Garmin Transitions rider, his chances of representing Great Britain still look slim. The British Olympic Authority also imposed a lifetime ban on him and they take a hardline stance on matters as last year's unsuccessful attempt by the sprinter Dwain Chambers to get his life ban over turned demonstrated.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

6 comments

Avatar
DaSy [687 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

A lifetime ban should be just that, Millar did take EPO and there is no doubt about that, and I think the fact that he has managed to salvage a Pro career should be enough for him.

If you make those bad decisions in your career you should be prepared to live with the consequences.

People being caught for doping now are being vilified by public and press alike, Millar did admit it, but I still think he should have been left off Olympic and Commonwealth squads.

Avatar
radar [48 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

Shouldn't he be riding for Malta?

Avatar
Chuffy [201 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

Hmmmm. Lifetime bans should do what they say on the tin, and I would count myself as one of Millar's fans. Athletes appealing against (deserved) punishments undermine the authority of the governing body.

Avatar
hammergonewest [105 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

But he didn't get a lifetime ban from his sport's governing body - he got two years. The life ban was from the British Olympic Association and Commonwealth Games Scotland stopping him from representing Great Britain or Scotland at the Olympics or Commonwealth Games - a two year ban would be pretty meaningless in their cases it's got to be said.

As I understand it from the story, it was his sport's governing body in Scotland, Scottish Cycling, that suggested he appeal the ban in the first place.

Avatar
kittyfondue [56 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

"I have been so pro-active in my fight against doping because I believe I can make a difference, and I also believe that the mistakes I made as an athlete were fully preventable. If the example I now give and education I provide can prevent a younger version of me from making the same mistakes I made than I could not ask for more.”

I think it would make a bigger statement for DM NOT to appeal against these bans - like most of the people posting already, I believe a lifetime ban is a lifetime ban. He did make mistakes and he was welcomed back into the peloton but surely if a young rider knows that when you're banned from other types of competitions, those stick forever no matter how rehabilitated you are, might give them pause for thought if they were contemplating doping.

Avatar
billiobob [56 posts] 6 years ago
0 likes

Using the same logic then no offender should ever be regarded as being rehabilitated, no-one should appeal against any sentence,life imprisonment should always be until you die etc. To quote John Cooper Clarke erstwhile Salford poet "Bring back hanging for everyone".