Sorry news that will soon be plastered all over the net, David Millar’s lawyer has confirmed to the Associated Press that the Cofidis team rider has admitted to taking EPO.
Miller had already lost his place in the Tour this year after being arrested in Biarritz last week and placed under investigation by judge Richard Pallain. Now Millar’s lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins, has said that during his 48-hour interrogation last week Millar admitted to past doping of “three EPO cures of one-week each in 2001 and 2003” – possibly a career-ending confession.
In a meeting described as having “a lot of emotion”, Millar apparently spoke to judge Pallain for two hours yesterday about his own doping and did not implicate any of his team mates.
The admission presents Millar with the likelihood of a two-year ban from the UCI and almost certainly the loss of his place for this year’s Olympics. Although the UCI have yet to say what action they are to take and the British Olympic Association have said they will wait on the UCI’s decision before stating their position, the future looks undoubtedly bleak for Millar: It’s hard to see how his cycling career could recover from this.
UPDATE at 4pm
Thanks to Bikebiz for the tip-off that Millar’s website has since this morning posted a news piece containing an aoplogy from Millar ‘to all those that have supported him ‘. He has voluntarily given up his place on the GB Olympic squad (see below for full statement).
Millar has now been suspended by British Cycling, whose President, Brian Cookson, said:
“This is a regrettable, but perhaps inevitable, outcome from a sad series of events. Of course David has done wrong and must pay the price, but I have to say that I am sickened by the circumstances that appear to have led an amazingly talented young man into this terrible situation.
“Frankly, in my view the whole future of professional road racing hangs in the balance at the moment. Even after a series of major criminal enquiries, the death of one of the icons of the sport, and now the end of the career of one of the sport’ s most exciting young talents, it is clear that there are elements that have not seen the writing on the wall. It is also clear that if we are to continue to enjoy the spectacle provided by the highest levels of the sport we love, then the culture that appears to have become entrenched in certain parts of the sport, and the elements that support it, must be driven out altogether.”
Full news article from Millar’s website
“David was yesterday put under investigation for the possession of an illegal substance following the search of his home in Biarritz. During the search two empty syringes of EPO were found.
In a hearing yesterday David admitted to Judge Richard Pallain that he used EPO on three separate occasions, once in 2001 and twice in 2003.
David accepts responsibility for the decisions and mistakes in his career but although he has admitted to the use of EPO in the past David emphatically denies the allegations that have been made against him during the course of Judge Pallain’s investigation.
David is deeply sorry to all those that have supported him and the damage he has done. He is particularly concerned that the high reputation of the British Cycling Team is in no way harmed as they had no knowledge of his actions. Indeed, it was his recent induction into the UK based performance programme that helped inspire him to decide never to use an illegal substance again.
He has been suspended from British cycling pending a judicial hearing and voluntarily removes himself from the British Olympic Team.”