David Millar has surgery on broken collarbone as Olympic decision looms

Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for convicted dopers next month

by Simon_MacMichael   March 24, 2012  

David Millar MSR 2012 © Simon MacMichael

Garmin-Barracuda rider David Millar has this morning undergone surgery after breaking his collarbone in a crash during yesterday’s E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. The Scot also broke a bone in his hand, his injuries coming around a month before a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will determine whether he will be eligible to be selected for the Great Britain team for this summer’s Olympic Games.

The Scot, banned for two years and stripped of his world time trial championship title in 2004 after admitting doping, is not actually a party to that case, which sees the British Olympic Association defend its bylaw that prevents athletes who have served a ban for doping of six months for more from being selected to represent Great Britain in the Olympics.

The BOA is the only national Olympic committee in the world that employs such a ban, although it no longer applies to athletes banned as a result of a violation of WADA’s ‘whereabouts’ programme; in 2007, Christine Ohuruogu successfully appealed her lifetime ban form Olympic competition imposed after missing three out-of-competition drug tests, and went on to win 400m gold at Beijing the following year.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, whose athletes’ panel Millar now sits on having become a passionate campaigner against the use of drugs in sport following his ban, maintains that the BOA’s bylaw constitutes a double sanction on athletes concerned, and that it is incompatible with the World Anto-Doping Code, to which the BOA is a signatory.

Should the CAS rule against the BOA, the 35-year-old would be eligible to be selected for the Great Britain team, potentially taking part in both the road race where four riders will support Mark Cavendish’s bid for gold, most likely repeating the role of road captain that he played to great effect when the Manxman won the world championship in Copenhagen last September.

Great Britain has two places in the individual time trial, an event in which Millar won world championship silver at Geelong in 2010, followed by Commonwealth gold in Delhi a week later, and if he were able to compete, it seems probable he would be selected to race alongside last year’s world championship runner-up, Bradley Wiggins.

Speaking to road.cc before Christmas, Great Britain performance director Dave Brailsford, who was out at dinner with Millar in the Scot’s then home town of Biarritz the evening he was arrested by French police, said that British Cycling was monitoring the situation closely.

However, Millar’s injury, and the time he takes to recover from it, now introduces an added potential complication should he become eligible to compete in London.

Millar was not the only cyclist to suffer a broken bone during yesterday’s race, which was won by Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Tom Boonen in a sprint from Oscar Freire of Katusha, with Team Sky’s Bernie Eisel third.

Rabobank’s Carlos Barredo broke an arm after crashing into Fabian Cancellara as the latter waited for a wheel to be changed on his bike, Koen de Kort of 1t4i suffered cracked ribs and Cofidis rider Jan Ghyselinck, like Millar, fell victim to a broken collarbone.

In a message posted this morning on Twitter following his operation, Millar said: “Thanks to Alexander Van Tongel, a very talented surgeon, impressive man. Thank you for all the get-well msgs, they're making me feel well.”
 

7 user comments

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Can't help contrasting your headline about Millar's crash with Cycling Weeklys, "Millar's classics campaign halted by collarbone fracture". Have you given up on reporting about cycling and are now just concentrating on sensationalism?

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
24th March 2012 - 16:12

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Hi Paul, can you point out the sensationalist bit of that headline? It all seems to be based on fact to me. Not even very sensational fact either

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4131 posts]
24th March 2012 - 17:25

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Paul just got Parred.

Thanks for keeping your fingers on the buzz, Roadcc.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
24th March 2012 - 17:30

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PaulVWatts wrote:
sensationalism?

Huh?

posted by Mat Brett [1808 posts]
24th March 2012 - 17:53

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Watt is Paul on?

posted by Pifko [85 posts]
24th March 2012 - 18:28

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Paul is on being interested in CYCLING not POLITICS read the Cycling Weekly article. The cycling news is Millar's crash has had an effect on his teams chances in the classic races they had been riding in and had nothing to do with WADA this or BOA that. This article takes the crash and links it to something that has no relevance to the crash or the event he was riding in.

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
24th March 2012 - 21:27

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PaulVWatts wrote:
Paul is on being interested in CYCLING not POLITICS read the Cycling Weekly article. The cycling news is Millar's crash has had an effect on his teams chances in the classic races they had been riding in and had nothing to do with WADA this or BOA that. This article takes the crash and links it to something that has no relevance to the crash or the event he was riding in.

For what it's worth I agree with you. It may be that even his classics season won't be completely over. Pozzato was back on his bike in a week:

Pozzato sustained a fractured collarbone at the Tour of Qatar in February, but was back racing less than a week after undergoing surgery,

from cycling news.

Mind you, I don't think we'll see him in the cobbled ones! Ouch!
But the Amstel week?

posted by Alan Tullett [1427 posts]
24th March 2012 - 22:26

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