EPO / David Millar / Results

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David Millar is back in the spotlight, not of his own doing, because WADA ruled that athletes can’t be banned from the Olympics after a positive drug test and that the British Olympic Association is appealing the decision to CAS.

In this article from Cyclingnews.com, this is a quote from Millar – “It [doping] was the difference between going to a race and hoping to win and going to a race and guaranteeing to win,” he said. “The reason I did it is because I knew I could get away with it.”

Finally, someone says it like it is. “Guaranteeing to win” was the quote. I have always hated reading when people say that these oxygen manipulating drugs just make you a little better. They make you so much better the results are unbelievable. That is a fact.

The problem is that David Millar says a lot of stuff. I did a couple posts last year on Millar and his stupid quotes. So, I can’t really use this new statement as prove of my beliefs if I discard most of the previous stuff he has said. Here is a link to a post that has a video of him saying that he didn’t even need to use EPO to win the World TT Championships because he won by so far he would have won without it. Considering how rampant that the drug use was in those days, he kind of contradicts himself because there were lots of other guys using it and he was the guy that won, “guaranteed”.

David goes on to state in the recent article – “People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings. Why should sports men and women get punished harder than people in the normal world?”

David needs to get real here. Punished more than people in the normal world? Does he think that not being able to participate in the Olympics is more punishment than “normal world” people are treated. Wow. I’d love to see the trial of the admitted, serial rapist when the judge is deciding the punishment after the guilty plead and the judge says, “Sir, you’re not going to be allowed to race bicycles in the Olympic games.” I bet the rapist would be devastated with that punishment.

Athletics isn’t a right dude. Personally, I don’t think you should be racing bikes at all, sorry. And for sure, you shouldn’t get a “second chance” to win a medal at the Olympic games. You blew that a long time ago.

David striking a pose, after tossing his bike over the barriers, a few years back, in the Giro when he broke his chain.

24 thoughts on “EPO / David Millar / Results

  1. timmer

    he’s a doosh.. he blamed his mechanic a few years back pre-bust for taking his front changer off when david-the-doosh instructed him to do so and he dropped his chain on cobbles and lost to mcgee in the TDF prologue.. 20% performance enhancer too.. and you can’t tell me that his body didn’t acclimate to the increased oxygen capacity which in turn gives long term benefits to PE usage.. agreed.. lifetime ban..

  2. VCScribe

    Agree with your last remarks, Stevie. It has always astounded me that “squeaky clean” Garmin Barracuda Cervelo whoever they are, and their likely doper head Jonathan Vaughters, hold up a convicted cheater as the poster boy for riding clean. What’s wrong with this picture?

  3. kansasboy

    Don’t know Steve. I’ve only been in Europe twice. The second time in Belgium a retired pro rider from Spain asked me if I wanted to get “smart like a fox” in French. Liege is only a short trip over to Germany and the open pharmacies. Also the doctor for Liege-Bastogne-Liege was part of doping in Seraing before getting busted some years ago.

    I was 43 at the time I was asked if I would like to find a way.

    How can you get upset about the go faster attitude in Europe?

    What pro teams are clean? How would we know? How could we care?

    Who are the good guys?

  4. tilford97 Post author

    Okay, agreed it is rampant in the sport, drug usage. But you have to eventually eradicate it or the sport is going to implode. In the pro ranks, I could not tell you who the good guys are. There is a cloud (thunder cloud) of suspension hanging over everyone.

    And another reason that David doesn’t get a 2nd chance because he was so arrogant that he would say, “I knew I could get away with it.” Obviously wrong again.

  5. Chad

    I really enjoyed reading David Millar’s book. Good look into his life. You can get it at the amazon UK site.

  6. Curby

    How far does it all go back? Here’s my favorite. Keep in mind Fignon was no slouch in the time trials.

    “Miguel Indurain, Stage 9 Time-trial Tour de France 1992

    The stage nine 65 km time trial in Luxembourg was the first major rendezvous for all the Tour contenders in 1992. Miguel Indurain, defending Tour champion was the favourite for the time trial but what nobody expected was the way he would totally demolish the entire field. His nearest challenger was French team-mate Armand de las Cuevas at three minutes. Everybody else was over 4 minutes or further back.

    Everybody, especially the riders were stunned and the reactions of some were comical. Former Tour winner Laurent Fignon who had started six minutes in front of the Spaniard but was still overtaken, remarked afterwards, “It was like being passed by a rocket, it was frightening!!, its not possible to go that fast, maybe he(Indurain) is an extra-terrestrial.”

  7. MSkarp

    Like Timmer said he’s a douche that likes to hear himself talk.
    I also don’t think he or any doper should get to run Olympics or worlds for that matter.

  8. burnt

    I’ve always enjoyed watching Millar ride a bike but his post-race interviews have often made me cringe.

    I only drop in to read your stuff every 10 days to two weeks and so I missed out on the grammar policeman post. Ignore it. Yes, you sometimes make multiple mistakes per post–so, what. I think the people who read the blog are interested in the stories you tell and the keen insights you provide. We are interested in your point of view not the purity of your style.

    I was down in KC at the Missouri state cross championships/UCI cross races when the off camber got you and you slid onto the ice, stood up, went through the ice into the drink and you dragged yourself out and won the race completely drenched–and it was pretty darn cold. It remains the most impressive racing display I have ever seen.

  9. H Luce

    “1903-1940s: Doping as acceptable means

    The strongest drug in the early Tour de France was strychnine. Other than that, riders would take anything to survive the tedium, the pain and the exhaustion of stages that could last more than 300 km. That included alcohol, which was already strong in French culture and sometimes purer than water after World War I destroyed water pipes and polluted water tables, and ether. There are photographs of riders holding ether-soaked handkerchiefs to their mouths, or leaving them knotted under the chin so the fumes would deaden the pain in their legs.[13] The smell, enough to turn a man’s stomach said Pierre Chany,[14] discouraged some but also showed the extent of suffering by others. Roger Lapébie, winner of the Tour in 1937, said he smelled ether “in the bunch near the finish; it used to be taken in a little bottle called a topette.”[15] Its use lasted decades; riders were caught using it as late as 1963.

    The acceptance of drug-taking in the Tour de France was so complete by 1930, when the race changed to national teams that were to be paid for by the organisers, that the rule book distributed to riders by the organiser, Henri Desgrange, reminded them that drugs were not among items with which they would be provided.[16] In a 1949 interview with Fausto Coppi, the 1949 and 1952 Tour winner, he admitted to amphetamine use and said “those who claim [that cyclists do not take amphetamine], it’s not worth talking to them about cycling”.[17]”


  10. FHG


    I do not think reference to normal people in the quote from David Millar “Why should sports men and women get punished harder than people in the normal world?”, is a reference to people who commit violent crimes.

    I do not know what was in his head when he said that but when I read it, I took it as a reference to white collar crime.

    I think his reference is to the likes of people who brought about the demise of the banking system in the US and Europe, people who raged war over the last decade on false pretext etc. None of those people have ever been identified, tried in a court of law or sentenced.

    So in comparison he is right. A person who commits a violent crime affects a handful of people. People who wage wars affect millions, people who commit bank fraud or economic malpractice have the potential to rob millions of their savings.

    So in comparison a bike racer who dopes, is caught, serves a ban, acknowledges his guilt and to all intent and purposes is trying to atone for it (atleast comes across as such), should be given another chance.

    Like him or not, agree with his postulation or not, he is right.

  11. tilford97 Post author

    FHG-Sorry, but I have to disagree with your premise. I was being extreme when I used the example of a serial rapist, but it still applies. I don’t think the punishment that these guys receive comes close to matching their “crime”. His ban, a 2 year suspension, is a joke considering the fame and money he has personally received, mainly/or partially, from using drugs in sport.

    There crime is stealing life experiences and money from his competitors and friends. If one of my friends came into my house and stole all my stuff and got caught selling it on eBay, I absolutely guarantee I’m not letting him back into my home.

    Why should David Millar get to compete in the Olympic games? As far as I’m concerned, the only reason I know David Millar’s name is because he took drugs to be good enough for him to be noticed. I have absolutely no idea how good of a bicycle racer he ever was, is, or is going to be, because his lifetime results, previous and future, are irrelevant to me because of what he did-cheat his friends and fans by fraud.

    I have no interest giving him a chance to redeem himself, represent his country and ride in the Olympic games.

  12. Jim

    If you think doping is bad in this sport read the nytimes article on horses getting dosed to the gills without real regulation. The toll on jockeys is enormous too.

    There are more than a few similarities in the drugs horses and humans take for performance enhancement, let alone the analogy between humans being the modern equivalent of “horsepower” in cycling.

  13. 1speed

    The ban fits the crime. Your analogy about someone coming into your house and stealing your stuff is not an apples to apples comparison. You’re judging from the standpoint of the victim, not the law. There is a difference. If that person who brokoe intoyour hosue were arrested,they would go to jail for a specific period of time. How long should that be? That’s where the analogy needs to reside – in the legal component. As the victim, of course you don’t want them back in your house, but do you believe they should rot in prison forever? That’s ridiculous. Millar served his time, and that time was determined by the law-making body governing his crime. Two years is a long time considering the relatively short lifespan of a top level pro cycling career . And the other cyclists are perfectly within their rights to refuse to participate in events in which he competes, but they have no reasonable claim to deny him the right to be in those events. That would be like allowing the victim of a crime to impose the sentence for a crime committed against them. No viable legal system could be sustained on that sort of foundation.

  14. tilford97 Post author

    1speed-I don’t agree. First, it is obvious that I don’t think that the ban fits the crime. These guys are making millions of dollars by doping. And their punishment is that they just don’t get to race bicycles for 2 years. How about Contador’s case? He doesn’t get to race bikes for a few months.

    And, I am a victim here. Most of us are somewhat. I’ve been booted off a team where I was making a substantial amount of money, to be replaced by a European rider that was obviously taking drugs at the time and
    eventually was caught.

    I have finished 2nd in a National Championship and eventually the guy that won was caught using EPO.

    I race week in and week out with guys that are taking drugs. They win the prize money and make the race so stupid that it is nearly impossible for me to rationalize to keep competing.

    If the British Olympic committee and cycling federation thinks that the “rules” are not strict enough, I see no reason that they shouldn’t have their own rule that says, “Sorry, you don’t get to represent us if you’ve been sactioned for using drugs in sport.”

    The victims of crime do get their day in court and I suppose that the judge, or whoever passes judgement, uses that information when he/she gives the sentence.

    I have no problem speaking up for much, much tougher sanctions against these guys. The current sanctions aren’t working. Two years is a joke in my opinion.

  15. FHG

    Hello Steve,
    Thanks for the response.
    I wish it was as simple as that. Ideally I would agree that dopers should be banned for life no second chances. I would also ideally like that the smartest people be the ones getting their due worth and not have to toil under the supervision of lackeys.
    But we all know that we have to face reality and live in it. Cycling is no different, there will be dopers, there be their defenders and there will be those who will do the utmost to keep the system the way it is. It happens in every sphere of life.
    I agree that a doper cheats the other competitors of their true experiences provided all of his other competitors were or are clean. That is a big if.
    Also you always point out that the cycling scene in Europe is corrupt and pro riders for the most part are doping, but on the other hand you are a big fan of Cadel and his achievements. Can you claim without doubt that Cadel is clean?

  16. tilford97 Post author

    Yeah-It’s not an easy subject to get your mind straight on.

    Obviously, it hits closer to home to me in cycling than other sports. I don’t think the justification of because everyone else is doing it then you’re only beating guys that are doping is a very good rational. I sort of understand the premise, but it is still flawed. I get beat all the time by guys that are doping.

    Is Cadel clean? I want to believe and hope he is. Is he? One of the biggest downsides to having so many athletes of one sport take drugs, and get caught, is that it casts a huge cloud over every other participate of that sport. And when you are the best in that very sport, it is always going to raise questions.

    There aren’t that many guys that are racing still that I had the privilege to race when, but I’ve known Cadel since he was a junior. He was very talented when he was young and just got incrementally better year after year.

    One of the things that throws a huge red flag up in the doping identification arena are riders that make huge plateau leaps after they are already in the sport for years. From being involved in cycling virtually all my life, I’ve never seen a guy be mediocre at 22 and then at 25 start slaying everyone, with ease, naturally.

    I’ve seen some pretty great riders throughout the years. Which ones were clean, I could guess, but I would never be sure.

    Cadel has always been a good cyclist. Maybe the sport cleaned up enough to allow him to start winning some big events.

  17. Jim

    I made this comparison when I commented on one of your posts a week ago, or so.
    I guess I don’t see why this is so hard. Racing a bike professionally is NOT a right. The UCI (or whomever) should have the right to say that you get a license to race only if you agree, in writing, that if you test positive for any banned substance you are done. The amount does not matter and how it got there does not matter. There does not need to be court involvement, you agreed to the rules when you signed your contract. This could be extended to team management too.
    If “supplements” might trigger a positive, the answer is simple. Don’t use supplements. How hard is that?
    The owners of the pro team I work with (as a go-fer, not a rider) made it VERY clear to the riders on the team. If ANYONE tests positive for anything, everyone is out of a job. To them, this should be fun and the fun stops if they have to spend/waste time in court defending a rider.

  18. Rad Renner

    To underscore Steve’s point, peope who commit felonies are punished not just by their incarceration, but also for the rest of their life by legal disenfranchisement from voting and gun ownership. Some punishments do continue, Mr. Millar; IMO, yours should as well.

  19. 1speed

    Steve – I agree with your statement — you ARE a victim of this type of thing, and don’t get me wrong — I totally understand your advocacy of stiffer penalties (and I can’t say I disagree with that sentiment.) My point was merely that, as the law stands, Millar has every right to compete in the Olympics. The desire to change that law is actually a separate issue independent of this case or this race. Advocate for change! Use your pulpit (as you’ve done here) to draw attention to an injustice! And be prepared to have people caught up in the minutiae of legal wrangling play devil’s advocate. I actually agre with you that it sucks that dopers get such a relatively weak penalty (just like it sucks that criminals are often released without demonstrating true remorse or a change in behavior.) But the law itself stands, and governing bodies have put effort into determining the appropriate length of time for penalties. Obviously, you are far better suited to judge the relative severity of a two year ban for an elite athlete than I am, so perhaps my interpretation there is suspect to you. But I would only add one other point to consider: if two years is too short, do you have an aletrnative to offer? Do you believe a lifetime ban is warranted? If so, why? If not, then what is the right number of years?

    At any rate, great, thoguht-provoking post! Keep it up!

  20. harkins

    actually, if i inderstand it correctly, the ‘law’ is not in millar’s favor. the british federation has long held that convicted dopers will not represent their country in the olympics. millar is campaigning for an exception to the rules, not that the rules should be upheld.

  21. tilford97 Post author

    1speed-I think that the British Cycling/Olympic committee has the right to not select David Millar for their team. Each country uses their own set of standards to pick their Olympic team. Sometimes it is by racing for the positions. Sometimes you qualify by results in events. Anyway, not one country picks their riders the same way.

    I don’t see a reason that this is any different than that. It is not up to WADA or any other outside entity to decide who rides the Olympic games for Britain.

    And for penalties, they would have to be very severe. The current ones aren’t detouring the usage. There needs to be a monetary part of the sanction. Plus, the time duration would need to be extended. This is for the heavy drugs, oxygen carrying, steroids, etc. For accidental ingestion, I think the penalty is too severe.

    This isn’t going to change very quickly now. The big change that drove it underground was a big gain, but now it is back to status quo, just at a lower level.

  22. 1speed

    Steve – Just oe final comment then I’ll let it go: I have to admit, getting a true pro’s perspective on all of this is great! It’s easy for me, as a recreational racer to view this whole issue as a less than critical frivolity. But you rely on this wonderful sport for your income, and that changes the game. Your POV is obviously informed by a totally different set of of priorities than I have. As an insider, you have more at stake, so I don’t have the right to tell you how to react. Your opinion comes from a different place, and I would say that when you are all done with this career, your obvious passion for this issue might be suggesting a new avenue for your efforts: you’d be a huge hero to many casual cyclists and cycling fans if you stopped up ad became the voice of honesty. You passion is obviously there! It’s been very interesting (not to mentjon educational) reading your views! Make yourself heard by the people who can foster change. You’re POV is missing from the larger discussion, and it shouldn’t be! Thanks for you view!


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