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Millar won't fight lifetime Olympic ban

David Millar says he won't fight a British Olympic Association ruling that excludes athletes which have previously served doping bans from competing at Olympic Games.

Millar was banned from cycling for two years in 2004 for admitting to doping offences. Under current BOA rules, this qualifies him for a lifetime ban from Olympic competition. He has since rebuilt his career and reputation after returning from suspension. Millar is one of three British athletes affected by the ban, along with sprinter Dwain Chambers and shot-putter and discus thrower Carl Myerscough.

The BOA's stance has been declared "non-compliant" by the World Anti-Doping Agency because the Games ban is viewed as an "additional sanction", something Millar agrees with.

The Scot told the BBC: "In all honesty, I'd written off the Olympics a long time ago.

"I just considered that the lifetime ban was in place and it wasn't something I wanted to challenge," he added.

"There are certain fights I don't want to fight and that was one of them.

"I just don't fancy being vilified any more. It's been a tough couple of years."

Millar also believes that the lifetime ban leaves no room for athlete rehabilitation and that each case needs to be considered on its own merits.

"Imagine you have a 16-year-old who's been given something by their coach and goes positive and receives a lifetime ban, that doesn't seem fair," he suggested.

"But maybe, if you have a 34-year-old multi-millionaire who lives in Monte Carlo, with a team of medical staff, who goes positive, maybe they should get a lifetime ban for a first offence.

"But those two cases are so different that they can't be judged the same."

In October this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that an International Olympic Committee regulation banning previously suspended athletes was "invalid and unenforceable."

In June 2008, the IOC's Executive Board adopted the so-called 'Osaka Rule', a regulation "prohibiting athletes who have been suspended for more than six months for an anti-doping rule violation from participating in the next Olympic Games following the expiration of their suspension."

The CAS panel "came to the conclusion that the 'Osaka Rule' was more properly characterized as a disciplinary sanction, rather than a pure condition of eligibility to compete in the Olympic Games." Such a sanction does not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code, the panel ruled, "because it adds further ineligibility to the WADC anti-doping sanction after that sanction has been served."


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