BOA removes last formal barrier to David Millar competing at London 2012

Lifetime ban bylaw formally rescinded

by Simon_MacMichael   May 18, 2012  

David Millar MSR 2012 © Simon MacMichael

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has removed the last barrier to cyclist David Millar and sprinter Dwain Chambers being selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Olympic Games in London by formally rescinding its lifetime Olympic ban on athletes convicted of a doping offence.

The ban was last month ruled invalid and unenforceable by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which held that it represented an additional sanction outside the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code, to which the BOA is a signatory.

In a statement, the BOA, which insisted the ban was a selection policy and not a punishment, said: "Following a discussion period, during which members of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) reiterated their support for the decision taken by the BOA board to defend the Eligibility By-law before CAS, it was agreed that the by-law would immediately be rescinded in order for the BOA to comply with the CAS ruling.

"The BOA will now notify Wada of this decision in writing,” it added.

"Additionally, the NOC encouraged the BOA to remain actively and constructively involved in the ongoing consultation process to amend the World Anti-Doping Code. NOC members expressed a desire to see the Code amended in a manner that would provide stronger penalties for serious doping offences, and for the autonomy of National Olympic Committees in determining selection criteria for their Olympic Teams to not be undermined or subjugated as a result of the Code."

World champion Mark Cavendish has repeatedly said that he would like Millar to be one of the four cyclists who line up alongside him in the Olympic road race on 28 July, the Scot having acted as road captain when Cavendish won the rainbow jersey in Copenhagen last September.

Millar, who if he took part in the Olympics would also be likely to figure in the individual time trial alongside Bradley Wiggins – the pair have each claimed a world championship silver medal at that discipline in the past two years, Millar at Geelong in 2010 and Wiggins at Copenhagen last year – has not yet confirmed whether he will make himself available for selection.

Earlier this year, he revealed to BBC Radio Scotland that even if he were free to compete in the Olympics, he would be reluctant to go to London “as a black sheep,” adding, “I don't know if it would be a very joyful experience for me."

Following the anouncement of the CAS decision last month, British Cycling said it would make no comment on Millar's potential selection for the Great Britain team for the Olympics.

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I hope Millar makes himself available, as a huge advocate of clean cycling he more than anyone else deserves a second chance, and with other former dopers competing it seems only right that Millar should be given his shot at Olympic glory.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
18th May 2012 - 11:58


It's unbelievable that athlete's that have cheated themselves, their fans and the other athletes they competed against are allowed to race again at this level.

All this shows is that the risk of cheating and not getting caught is a risk worth taking.

If I was Millar I would be too ashamed to line up against clean athletes after taking the place of another GB athlete who has earned the right for that place through hard work.

grantr1's picture

posted by grantr1 [19 posts]
18th May 2012 - 12:51


Good. I'll forget anything about him in order not to listen to him being interviewed ever again. Please David; ride your bike if you must, and if it helps the team all the better, but keep your head down and quiet.

Vin Cox

posted by Vin Cox [51 posts]
18th May 2012 - 13:00


Hope he races. Good luck DM.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3707 posts]
18th May 2012 - 13:36


Before people go jumping on Millar's case. Here is a possible Italian squad for the olympics (squad put together by me)

Michele Scarponi
Alessandro Petacchi
Ivan Basso
Danilo Di Luca
Stefano Garzelli

All riders have had a ban and either admitted or not doping. So if they are all fine to ride, Why cant Millar?

I hope he sticks it to the BOA and doesn't ride, then Cav loses and the BOA get the stick OR he rides, Cav cant keep with on Box Hill and Millar goes on to take gold Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9355 posts]
18th May 2012 - 15:19


OR he rides, plays an absolute blinder as per Copenhagen, and Cav wins (I suspect this is the bit you're not keen on! Big Grin )

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3707 posts]
18th May 2012 - 17:45


...I'm more than happy with Gkam84's final option Cool

CoBi Tours

Googles's picture

posted by Googles [1 posts]
19th May 2012 - 2:00


To those that think that a lifetime ban is in order for drug taking, consider the two effects of this. One, that the attempts to get any ban overturned will be much more forceful with even more money thrown at it (not forgetting that false test results have happened before and will happen again). Two, there would be no reason for any cyclist to admit to doping if the sentence is the same wiping out any possibility of cleaning up the sport. Yes, a ban should result from cheating but not a permanent one.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [295 posts]
19th May 2012 - 23:23