David Millar has had his lifetime ban from Commonwealth Games competition lifted following a successful appeal against the sanction imposed on him for doping in 2004. He's now eligible for selection in Scotland's team at the Commonwealth Games in India next October.
Following a confession of EPO use in 2004, Millar received a two-year ban from cycling and a lifetime sanction courtesy of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS). The Scottish authority adopted the same hardline approach as the British Olympic Association (BOA), which bans athletes from eligibility for Commonwealth and Olympic competition for life should they be found guilty of doping offences.
British daily The Guardian revealed that Millar's appeal was initiated by Scottish Cycling and was successful due to the work he's done to rid his sport of doping following his indiscretion. He's on the athlete's panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and is an outspoken advocate of cleaning up the professional peloton.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the decision. I've never competed in a major games, and I thought the chance had gone," said Millar. "I want to go and win the time trial. I'll be riding the Vuelta purely as preparation for the Games."
CGS chief executive Jon Doig explained the reasons for Millar's successful appeal. "The CGS board felt that, since his return to cycling, David has become an active campaigner and educator about doping in sport. He has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate himself and share his experiences with others in an attempt to promote the anti-doping message."
Whilst the sanction imposed by the BOA still stands, Millar says he's not going to challenge the British authorities in an attempt at eligibility for Olympic competition. "If someone else appeals and has it overturned, that's different. But I'm not going to initiate it," he said. "There's a good chance I'll be at the London Games," he added, "but as a WADA representative rather than as an athlete."
Meanwhile, the BOA has declined to speculate or comment on the possibility of Millar's ban from Olympic competition being overturned, outlining the conditions of which an independent panel would consider any appeal.