British cyclist David Millar is set to return to racing in June this year after a two year ban for admitting to the use of EPO. Millar has signed a contract with ProTour team Saunier Duval, and is determined to come back as a clean rider to set an example to others that they can compete without doping.
During his ban, Millar worked with young riders in Britain, as he explained in an interview with Spanish daily AS. "Yes, politically it wasn't very correct, as I was still sanctioned for doping. But my idea was to get across to them that the sport can be clean."
Millar admitted that taking EPO was a "wrong decision" and realises, "For some, my name will never be clean. But for those who can understand it, in this second stage of my career, I want to show with results that I can be a clean athlete...Competing without external help, to become an icon of clean cycling and use my case as an example for the young. There are many idiots who believe that you can't win without drugs, and we must convince the new generations that this isn't the case."
Millar's ban runs out on June 23. His first race will be the Tour prologue in Strasbourg, a race that suits his abilities, even if he has a lack of race condition. "I'm going to train hard for that day. I'm even preparing a special bike. I know that it's going to be very difficult, but it's a short distance and I have a chance to win."