David Millar gains Olympic selection after BOA releases London 2012 cycling list
Scotsman David Millar, 35, has completed his road to cycling redemption after being selected in Team GB's 18-man cycling squad and is among eight riders competing for the final five slots in the men's road race eight years after being banned from the sport for doping. Millar, along sprinter Dwain Chambers, is eligible for selection ahead of the London 2012 Games thanks to the lifting of the BOA's life time ban on all athletes found guilty of doping offences after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the BOA's ban was in contravention of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
Millar's inclusion has been met with mixed reaction amongst his fellow cyclists but the majority of the general public seem happy to see him included due to his work in the community as part of an anti-doping spokesperson. Alan Curr took to Twitter to speak of his approval of Millar's inclusion stating that he had 'served his punishment'. Curr tweeted, " Pleased David Millar is in. Shows real remorse & served punishment by missing last Olympics. Selfless competitor who is there for Cav anyway".
Charlie Arthur was equally pleased to see Milalr given a second chance and tweeted, "Glad to see that David Millar has been included in the British Olympic road #cycling team. Everybody deserves a second chance. #London2012".
Adding to his gold and bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games Millar's inclusion marks an incredible turnaround for a man that was involved in one of the biggest doping scandals in the history of the sport. As part of the renowned Cofidis team Millar and his team-mates ruled the cycling world until, in 2004, he was found guilty of taking banned substance EPO and suspended from participating in the sport for two years.
Speaking to the BBC ahead of the CAS decision Sir Chris Hoy, who may well be Millar's team-mate at London 2012, defended the BOA's stance. Hoy said at the time, "It will be sad if we have to fall in line with the rest of the world. I don't see anything wrong with having more stringent rules. I think it should be the rest of the world that's falling in line with our rules. If you are caught for taking drugs, then you will not be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. That to me is a good incentive not to take drugs."
Ahead of the Team GB announcement, and quite fittingly, Hoy himself had taken to Twitter saying that he had been visited by anti-doping testers, "Why do Anti-doping testers always seem to turn up 5mins after I've been to the loo?! We could be in for a bit of a wait here.. #smalltalk". Hoy also adding, "Second visit they've made to my home in 12 hours! Think they're only coming here for the coffee.."
Ever the professional Hoy will be sure to put the problems of Millar's past behind him and look to add to his five Olympic medals that the 36 year-old Scot all ready has. Hoy told the press conference at the announcement of the cycling squad, "The standard in the British Cycling team is so high and the selection process is always going to be tough, but there's a great atmosphere in the team and we just need to keep putting in the hours in training and make sure we're in the best shape possible for race day. This is my fourth Olympics, but my first home Games, and it's going to be an amazing experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us."
The road race teams will be narrowed to the final five men and four women to represent Team GB on July 28-29.
The Team GB selection is as follows;
Cross Country Mountain Biking:
Men’s Road (five to ride):
Women’s Road (four to ride):