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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 15:27 GMT
Millar pledges drugs-free return
David Millar
Millar has been out of cycling for almost two years
David Millar has promised to stay clean for the remainder of his career when he returns from a two-year drug ban.

Millar was suspended after admitting to taking EPO but will return to action at July's Tour de France.

He told Spanish newspaper AS: "For some people out there my name will remain stained forever.

"But for those that can understand it I want to prove I can be a successful and clean sportsman. I want to show that I can compete without outside help."

The Briton, who was stripped of his 2003 time-trial world title as part of the ban, aims to become an "icon for clean cycling as well as an example to young people".

"There are a lot of idiots out there who think you can't win anything without drugs, but we have to convince the young generation that this isn't the case," he said.

The doping problem is calming down a little
David Millar
The 29-year-old, who will race for Spanish team Saunier Duval later this season, admitted he had considered quitting the sport altogether.

"The first six months were really difficult, but then I decided to get myself together and make a comeback," he said.

"I'm going to be training full out for day one of the Tour de France. I'm even preparing a special bike.

"I know it will be very difficult, but it is over a short distance and I have a chance of winning."

Millar, who has won three previous Tour stages, faces stiff competition from fellow Briton Bradley Wiggins and Australian Brad McGee among others.

Despite his change of stance on doping, he warned there "will always be cheaters" but he expected a far cleaner Tour this year.

"The doping problem is calming down a little," he said. "Everyone I have talked to confirms that.

"Considering what happened to me and to others, many got scared. They know that if you are caught, you are finished."


SEE ALSO
Millar to ride for Spanish team
16 Dec 05 |  Cycling


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