David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda) has made himself available for selection for this year’s Olympic Games following the overturning of his lifetime Olympic ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in April.

Subject to selection, the 35 year old Scot could now figure in Team GB’s plans for both the road race and the time trial this summer.

“I’m available,” Millar told The Times newspaper. “I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but I’ve concluded that if I can be of benefit to the team, I would be happy to help.”

Millar had been subject to a lifetime Olympic ban by the British Olympic Association (BOA) after he admitted doping and served a two year suspension between 2004 and 2006.

However the BOA bye-law which banned him was ruled unlawful by the CAS in April, putting Millar in the frame for selection.

He had initially remained coy over whether he would put his name in the hat for the Olympic road events given the controversy surrounding whether former drugs cheats should represent Great Britain. Sir Chris Hoy was amongst those who spoke out in defence of the BOA’s bye-law.

Millar, who sits on the Athlete’s Commission for the World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada), added, “I have spent time fighting the idea of lifetime bans for a first offence, and it gets confusing if I don’t make myself available.”

He can now reprise the support role for Cavendish that he rode at the World Championships road race in Copenhagen last year, a role which earnt him the praise of the Manxman. He could also fill one of Great Britain’s two places in the time trial event alongside Bradley Wiggins.

Selectors at British Cycling have until June 8 to decide on the teams for the Olympic road race events with the squads to be announced on June 11.

Millar himself will line up next at the Criterium du Dauphine race which begins this Sunday with a 5.7km prologue in Grenoble. 

Related links



Millar free to ride in London 2012 Olympic Games



BOA vs. Wada and what it means for David Millar


Millar’s Classics campaign halted by broken collarbone




Criterium du Dauphine 2012: The Big Preview

 

 

  • Morgan

    Nothing like this topic to polarise opinion. Millar owned up, did his time, and since has fought for clean racing. Give him respect for that. As for life bans and the “one strike” lobby – I feel the ban for a first time offence should be 4 years (so would include an Olympiad), with automatic life ban for a second offence. Cynical cheats like Ricco would be removed from the sport permanently. And consider including management in the ban (Riis??) .

  • dai bananas brother

    Dai’s missus says the best advice is to back Sammy Sanchez @20/1 to win again and to make sure you catch the Olympic Torch Relay, Last week it pased by Ronnie Roach’s pub above Brynmawr, he rode the Empire Games RR in 1958 would you believe (no debates about drug cheats in those days)

  • Jon

    I’ve got a lot of time for Millar – he’s made his mistake and admitted it and stood up for riding clean for a long time now. I don’t think he made this decision lightly either.

  • Oliver

    Personally I think that Millar did the crime, but he has served the time as well. The contrast between his post-conviction behaviour and that of the likes of Contador, Basso, Rasmussen and (especially) the incredible Riccardo Ricco, is stark.

    Perhaps more interesting is the drift in public opinion in this topic. Just a couple of years ago I remember reading something about Millar where virtually every commentator was ready to hang, draw and quarter him. Generally, dogmatic adherence to a black-and-white view of moral issues is almost always unhelpful and it is good to see a wider range of views now.

  • Brendan

    I’m not at all happy when I hear about drug cheats and I agree that they most certainly should be punished with a ban. As for a lifetime ban however, perhaps that’s a step too far. Criminals get locked up for a specified period and are then set free and helped with their rehabilitation. Surely we should offer at least the same to first time drug offenders.

  • George

    I, like everyone else hate dopers. However I disagree with the one strike and you’re out. That just gives the message of not forgiving people and not giving them a second chance to show they’ve changed. In my opinion a first offence should be 3-4 years instead of 2 and then a lifetime ban for a second offence. At least when Millar came back he didn’t hide in the shadows of his past, he’s spoken about what he’s done and trying to prevent new riders from making the mistake he made almost 10 years ago.
    I just think he’s done more for the sport than all of these ‘internet professionals’ have, and by the way I’m 18 years old and have looked up to him since he made his comeback.

  • BLMac

    No drug cheats. Simple.

    Out for life.

  • JD

    Cut Millar some slack chaps. He got things wrong but almost uniquely he decided to own up and then some. He has been a positive force against drugs ever since, a stark contrast to some continental riders who behave like naughty schoolboys who got caught.

    The problem with the drugs ban is that they need to standardise them across Olympic and Pro sport – two years is not long enough for either but a life ban seems harsh when riders can come back as examples of reform. I’d compromise on five.

  • steve clarke

    I agree with Adam, Mike and Howard on this.
    Yes, David Millar has shown remorse and has proved himself to be a good spokesperson for riding clean, but this new rule does not help the image of sport.
    You cheat, you dope, you deprive others of the chance of winning and you let your fans and your sport down.
    It would be great if Team GB stood by it’s earlier rule and do not select ex dopers.

  • Howard

    So a first offence is excusable in David Millar’s opinion. I entirely disagree, I have also read his book, and he admits to some very unprofessional conduct as well as the totally unaccetable use of performance enhancing drugs, even when he had proved he could win without!
    As far as drug cheats are concerned my opinion is one strike and you are OUT FOR LIFE from any competitive sport, only then does it become a deterrent. When will these people realise, the only person they are fooling is themselves? It must be a really empty feeling to stand on the podium knowing you only won because you are a cheat.
    Above all what message do we want to pass on to youngsters entering the sport, before you decide think, they may be your children or grandchildren!

  • Mike

    With you all the way Adam.

    Personaly I like Dave Millar but I would have had more respect for him if he had said that he would not put himself forward for selecction, as when he was convicted of doping, the law as it stood then, precluded him from future selection, and as he knew this when he chose to chea,t he should stand by it.

  • adam

    Can’t say I’ve ever warmed to Millar… And as for black listing journalists before his doping ban. Pfft… too much time speaking to LA me thinks.
    I think the BOA should be allowed to say that they support a clean sport and do not pick past offenders. It sends a message. It’s another deterrant.
    If not having Millar in the team meant Cav didn’t win the gold medal, wouldn’t that be OK? I mean, if you look at the other alternative you are basically saying ‘We don’t mind drug cheats (so long as they help us win).’ Which is effectively what got cycling in the mess in the first place. If no one cares about the way the win comes, then we’re back to square one.

  • Lee

    Fantastic. I’ve followed Millars career from the start of his pro career and read his book and he thoroughly deserves to represent GB at the Olympics. He did an awesome job as road captain at the worlds and he has shown how to be a real professional.

    Lets hope we get some Millar Time again :D

    Wiggo and Millar in the TT – now thats a solid combination and both helping Cav, its looking very good.