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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.