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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Millar out of Olympics
David Millar pictured training during June
Millar has pulled out of the Olympics
David Millar has pulled out of the Olympics after admitting to taking the banned substance EPO.

Millar had already been suspended from competition by British Cycling after being placed under investigation for possession of banned substances.

And he had also been banned from taking part in this year's Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.

But Millar had hoped to compete in the time-trial, road race and team pursuit in next month's Games in Athens.

His representatives issued a statement which said: "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.

We will meet up with him during the Tour and if he says to us what he said to the judge - that he took EPO - his contract will be terminated
Alexandre Michaud
Cofidis

"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."

On Thursday his lawyer, Paul-Albert Iweins, said Millar had admitted to a court he had used banned substance EPO.

"In respect of David Millar's admission to Judge Pallain, I am greatly saddened by this affair," said British Cycling acting chief executive Dave Brailsford.

"But I confirm that Millar is suspended with immediate effect pending a further investigation and a disciplinary hearing."

To my mind he's innocent until proved otherwise and he'll always be a friend of mine
Stuart O'Grady
Cofidis team-mate

Millar's sister, Frances, told the Guardian newspaper her brother felt better after having finally told the truth.

"He wants it known he is deeply sorry for this," she said. "He did not want to live a lie any longer.

"He has told the judge the truth, but the main thing he wishes to make clear is that it was his individual decision and he has to take responsibility for his decisions.

"He has told everything and now hopefully he can get on with his life."

Millar rides for French outfit Cofidis and they confirmed that his future at the team was in serious doubt.

"David has not been axed by the team," Cofidis communications director Alexandre Michaud told BBC Sport.

"We will meet up with him during the Tour and if he says to us what he said to the judge - that he took EPO - his contract will be terminated."

Millar's Cofidis team-mate Stuart O'Grady told BBC Sport: "To my mind he's innocent until proved otherwise and he'll always be a friend of mine.

"We're all obviously shocked by what's happened but we all just have to go out there do our best and focus on the Tour."





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21 Jan 04  |  Cycling
Cofidis star axed over EPO
17 Feb 04  |  Cycling


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