Saturday, December 26, 2009

Scotland Lifts Commonwealth Life Ban on Millar

Scotland will allow cyclist David Millar to compete for his nation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India after he won an appeal against his life ban.

Commonwealth Games Scotland has lifted a ban that was enforced after Millar, 32, was suspended from cycling for two years in 2004 for using drug EPO. "David has become a campaigner and educator about doping since returning," said CGS chief executive Jon Doig. "He has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate himself."

Doig added: "He has shared 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."

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 - David Millar 

Millar is likely to have little trouble meeting the criteria to get into the team for Delhi, judging by his performances in the Tour de France and other major championships since his return.

He will also deliver an anti-doping seminar to young Scottish athletes as a condition of his return to the Commonwealth Games team.

"I am absolutely delighted with the decision," said Millar, who is still not eligible to ride at the Olympics because the British Olympic Association take a hard-line stance against drug offenders.

"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 proactive 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, then I could not ask for more."

Story from BBC SPORT  Published: 2009/12/22 07:51:18 GMT  © BBC MMIX

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