Former Garmin-Sharp rider David Millar says he is in a good position to mentor young British riders about the dangers of doping

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After criticism was angled against British Cycling and David Millar, the former Garmin rider insists he’s in a good position to educate young cyclists about the perils of doping having ‘been there and done it’.

Millar, who retired from professional cycling in 2014, was banned in 2004 after admitting to taking EPO, before returning to the peloton as an anti-doping advocate.

British Cycling announced this week that Millar would take on an informal role with the BC Academy, which is based in Italy, and the rider says he can give genuine answers to the questions the riders may have about doping.

“I have been there and done it all recently, good and bad,” he told the Guardian. “It will make that world seem real to them. I’m still close to what they are dreaming of. They can ask me things and they will know they will get real-life experiences as an answer. It’s not just a matter of telling them what not to do, but why.

“I can tell them about the risks, how [doping] can damage you. It’s about qualifying them for the world they are going into. Cycling has cleaned up its act, it’s possible to get to the top clean, but you can see from what’s happening in athletics that there is a way to go.

“I’m in a strong position to educate those guys on what happens. If one of them has doubts about someone he is riding against, sees something he doesn’t understand, he can talk to me. He will know I will do something about it and that I will give him an idea of how to cope with it.”

Millar cited the recent doping admission by 18-year-old Gabriel Evans as an example of the decisions some young athletes may take in order to move up the ladder in sport.

British Cycling’s performance director, Shane Sutton, acknowledged that Millar’s appointment was controversial, but insisted that there are few better people to talk about the dangers of doping than the Scot.

“Having someone of David’s calibre on board to support us in this education process is invaluable; he is readily available to share his experiences as a professional cyclist to the young riders who aspire to succeed in their careers,” he said.

  • DM has been employed because of his vast knowledge and expertise in cycling. He is a great tactician. People should allow him to put those drug days behind him and let him get on with his life. After all, his ‘crime’ was a sporting one. He did not murder anyone, did he? There are too many people on the net obsessed with the past. Far better to be aware of the present. Last year, in the Belgian Masters race at Ostende 7 out of 8 60+ masters who were tested were found positive. What we are seeing is more drugs within amateur sport. This obviously has health implications as well as the detrimental emotional and sporting effects caused. I know that here in Thailand most drugs are available over the counter, some doctors prescribe willy nilly) and there are riders at the amateur elite level that look a bit sus to me. In terms of Masters racing, along with my Spanish training partner here, we are loathe to participate in masters racing in Europe because of what we are up against. It means you are not competing on a level playing field. Back to Mr Miller. If he can make a difference then welcome aboard. I trust the expertise of the top nobs at BC to make a sound judgment in this case. I don’t think internet warriors necessarily have the expertise or the background to make a valued judgement in these type of situations. What I see from their posts, and especially in the way that they phrase their venom, is that there are a lot of people suffering from some sort of psychosis and they aim their anger at the wrong targets.

  • Tim packer

    Snow hare I couldn’t agree more.. im amazed at the people on here who think this DOPER has done nothing wrong

  • Meddle? What’s that about? Do you mean MEDAL? For C’s sake, do you know what you are talking about? Come on man, get a life. You don’t need to be so angry about these things. Move on. Preferably by bicycle.

  • Snow Hare

    Why would British Cycling need a lying drug cheat like David Millar to advise young riders to not be a dick and do drugs? It’s not as if there isn’t history on this in pro cycling, and the dumbest would know the consequences if found out. He is superfluous.
    The impression Millar has given after being caught was to be as publicly contrite as possible to ensure he would not become a pariah in cycling, IMO. He’s been well-advised, and it’s turned out very lucratively for him, hasn’t it?
    So, kids, don’t lie or do drugs, but if you do, ‘fess up only after being caught, and be as articulate as possible in your public ‘contrition’. Maybe you too will get a couple of books, TV work, accompanied tours, and a very expensive clothing line out of it.
    What an example BC is setting for impressionable young riders.

  • Pete Hughes

    As squeaky clean as Seb Coe. He’s sorting out athletics isn’t he.

  • MrHaematocrit

    I don’t hate Millar I just believe he has no place in any aspect of professional sport. The same view I have of any convicted doper or person who assisted someone in doping.

  • MrHaematocrit

    You appear to be rather critical of a spelling mistake due to autocorrect on a mobile device, however you also appear to have understood what was attempting to be conveyed which is positive as I was still able to get my point across, but thanks for correcting my typo. I will watch for that in the future. 🙂
    It is a shame though that you do not appear to hold the same high standards for people who lie, cheat, and are dishonest as you do for spelling and grammer.

  • Tim packer

    Sounds like you like these DOPERS mr Franklin .. Oh well There’s always one weirdo I guess!! Defending the cheats !!

  • Tim packer

    keith Robertson.. All these ex dopers deserve no place for cheating andbreaking the rules.. Pantani Merckx Simpson and any others deserve no time of anyone not just Millar.. There all doping cheats

  • Tim packer

    Ian Franklin are you for real!! Im trying to damage others.. So what about the damage DOPER Millar has caused to all his fans!! All the damage he has done to the people who believed he was CLEAN!! All the damage he’s done to familly and friends who watched him win an Olympic meddle and then had to tell every one he was DOPING and cheating.. As you claim I’m damaging others who shouldn’t be cheating

  • Get your facts correct. I think you mean Omerta, not Omega. Just highlights the level of brain power at work here.

  • I don’t think Tommy was ever ‘convicted’. But in answer: These people hate them all.

  • Keith Robertson

    Ok you keyboard warriors and Millar haters specifically. I’d really like to hear your opinions on other well known convicted doppers. Start with say, Tommy Simpson, Eddie Mercx, Pantani, etc.

  • MrHaematocrit

    The comments made by Andrew are not Libelous as to be so it must be a statement which claims to be fact and is not clearly identified as an opinion.

  • MrHaematocrit

    It’s worth noting Millar never confessed to anything he was caught. He has also never identified where he obtained his PED’s from or who assisted him. He has never stated who else he believes is doping. He never spoke to the CIRC report.. He is a smart, intelligent manipulator who talks the talk but keeps omega. (Omerta – Typo correction courtesy of Ian) Millar has done nothing for anti-doping and everything for himself.

  • Why do you put the word Doper in capital letters. Seems to reinforce my belief about those that are damaged trying to damage others.

  • Kelvin Morrison

    Surely a far superior role model can be found in someone like Chris Boardman, hugely accomplished, highly intelligent, and squeaky clean. Oh and before we forget not some posturing fashionista who is completely in love with himself. Dope heads have no place in our beautiful sport.

  • Kelvin Morrison

    Rubbish

  • Carl Hawkins

    Well said Ian, I don’t understand the vindictive attitude of some people. They need counselling themselves.

  • Tim packer

    Pedro nogo. The reason why millar didn’t deny doping was because he HAD very little choice .. Team sky said they weren’t interested in this DOPER and rightly so don’t you think!!

  • Pedro Nogo

    Well said. Whatever your position on Millar, he didn’t deny doping, he didn’t make pathetic excuses, didn’t spend most of his ban racing under appeal, and showed some contrition into the bargain. If his experience can help keep future talent on the level then that’s a win surely? Makes me laugh how two faced some sections of the media and keyboard warriors are – Millar is vilified, Contador & Valverde are heroes….

  • ummm…

    High interest in british cycling + a lack of british stars that didnt dope = this.

  • Libelous and unnecessary comment. Once people have been convicted and served their time they should be allowed to continue with their lives. This continual hounding of Millar absolutely sickens me to the core. But to me it says more about the people doing the hounding than the target himself. It comes from the very gutter of society. Leave him be. Please. Try to campaign for something a lot more useful to your fellow humans. Like decent conditions for Junior doctors in the UK. Like an end to the human rights abuses that have killed hundreds of thousands of people in Burma. We could go on.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    He is making an awful lot of money being an ex doper more than he probably would if he had never been caught.This man should be stripped of everything he owns he is a cheat and always will be.

  • Chris Williams

    People will be talking about his past ”DOPER” for longer than the benefits he can give the youth squad. Next there will be FC saying how to get away with mechanical doping