As expected, David Millar has been sacked from the Cofidis team following his admission of EPO use. But the transcript of his admissions to French Judge Richard Pallain, published in L’Equipe yesterday and subsequently confirmed as accurate by Millar’s sister, give more than a simple admission of guilt.
“I did two courses [of EPO] in May and August 2003” Millar said “The objectives I was aiming for after these courses of treatment were the Dauphiné Libéré [stage race] and the world time-trial championship in Canada. I had dreamed of becoming world champion and I got there but I had cheated.”
Millar then said that he’d kept two of his used syringes to remind himself in the future of what he’d done to become world champion, because he was deeply ashamed.
And it’s this awareness of wrong-doing and a sense of shame at cheating, even while feeling he had no other choice, that comes through in Millar’s admissions which are summarised in a good article by William Fotheringham in today’s Guardian. “You dope because you are a prisoner of yourself, of glory, of money…” said Millar “I was a prisoner of the person that I had become.”
The response of the UCI so far has been that if Millar confirms these facts in public, or before a cycling discipliniary body, he’ll be stripped of his world title. Millar is due to face a hearing with British Cycling at the beginning of August.