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Millar: I'd written off the Olympics

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 12, 2012, 17:33 BST,
Updated:
June 12, 2012, 19:43 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Race:
2012 Olympic Games, Olympic Men's Road Race
David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)

David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda)

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Briton says decision to put himself forward for selection was not easy

British rider David Millar (Garmin-Barracuda) has told BBC Sport that his decision to change his stance on selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games was not an easy one and it will force him revisit demons from his past that he has tried so hard to exorcise.

The 35-year-old is widely tipped to be on the long list of British riders in contention for selection, which is to be officially revealed tomorrow. Millar was originally banned from competing at the Games after he was given a lifetime ban by the British Olympic Association for admitting to doping in 2004.

But in April Millar's lifetime ban and that of several other disgraced British athletes was overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), when the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) successfully argued that lifetime bans were unlawful according to the code it had already put in place, which made provision for the punishment of cheats. Great Britain had been the only country who imposed lifetime bans on its athletes, and this was declared unlawful.

Millar has been a strong anti-doping activist in the years since he completed his ban and repeatedly stated in the lead-up to the verdict that he would find it almost impossible to go to the Olympics with such a stigma attached to him. Now, it appears, he has changed his mind after careful thought and consideration, and he is in line for one of the five spots on Team GB for the Olympic road race.

"This is not the easy path for me. I had written off the Olympics," he told BBC Sport.

"To decide to go to the Olympics is to now regurgitate everything and deal possibly with negative reactions and interviews about the past. Going back to living in the past is not something I want to do, I want to look forward.

"Digging up the past and having to justify myself and deal with the media, it would have been much easier for me simply to not go - then all I would probably have got was a positive reaction from martyring myself.

"But the biggest regret I could have is deciding to take the easy option, take my holiday, watch the road race on TV and see the British team and see what a stupid, selfish decision I had taken."

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