MILLAR ACQUITTED IN COFIDIS DOPING TRIAL
David Millar has been acquitted by a French court on Friday of offences against anti-doping laws. Millar was one of 10 individuals facing charges in the so-called “Cofidis case” - the Briton’s former team before he served a two-year doping ban.
Like former team mate Massimiliano Lelli, Millar was aquitted because the offences he was accused of were not perpetrated on French soil and because he is not French. However, seven others - all former Cofidis riders - were given suspended jail sentences ranging from three to six months.
The former soigneur for the team, Bogdan Madejak, got the most severe penalty - one year in prison, of which nine months are a suspended sentence. Madejak had been accused of encouraging cyclists in his care to use banned substances.
Ghislaine Polge, the judge presiding the case agreed with Prosecutor Jacques Hossaert’s request that Millar be cleared of charges. Hossaert had said Millar’s co-operation in the case had helped the fight against doping. Since serving his ban, Millar has become a outspoken defendant of the need to clean up cycling.
The Cofidis team had requested it be paid damages for the effect the case had had on its image, but this was rejected by Polge.
“By being involved in professional cycling, its established knowlege of doping and the lack of meaningful measures to prevent it, Cofidis could not have been unaware what was going on inside the team,” Polge argued.