In the midst of all the doping scandals going on in the Tour, there is a certain irony about the return of David Millar to racing. After police searched his home in 2004, Millar admitted to using EPO to win the 2003 world time trial championships (among other races), and received a two year suspension that has just run its course. Millar said that he is now ready to race without doping, and called the events in Spain "fantastic news".
"Cycling is the most beautiful sport in the world," said the Brit on Thursday. "I had to watch the 2005 Tour de France on TV, and I felt excited, just like a child. I realised I was very lucky that my first race back would be the Tour. I needed to believe in myself and work hard. Fortunately, many people trusted me: the British team, Mauro Gianetti, Matxin and the Saunier Duval-Prodir team, and, of course, my family. It´s like a new beginning; everything is new to me.
"I want to prove that it is definitely possible to win without doping," Millar told Sportwereld.be. "I don't want any more ambiguity. "I am now one hundred percent clean. In the years left in my career, I will have to convince the fans, my colleagues, and the journalists that I am now an honest rider. I hope that my story is a positive message for this sport. I f**ked up: I lied, I did wrong, I cheated, and I have to live with that now. I hope that the new generation of riders can gain the respect of the public. It's already proven by the scandals in Spain that the sport doesn't deserve that respect yet. Cycling will also need years to build up its credibility again."
"It's going in the right direction, I really mean that. What happened in Spain in the last weeks is fantastic news. Through those sort of anti-doping actions, the organised doping networks will be slowly dismantled. The belief that you can't win without doping, must stop. It's up to the current riders to convince the younger generations."
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto