Saturday 18 November 2017

Cycling: Armstrong drug probe will not end well -- Millar

Brendan Gallagher

David Millar has broken the ranks of the peloton to launch an outspoken attack on Lance Armstrong, claiming he can see no "happy ending" to the ongoing drug investigation into the seven-time Tour de France winner, and criticising his record of speaking out against doping.

Millar, who served a two-year ban in 2004 for taking EPO, believes the probe into Armstrong by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is casting a shadow over the sport.

Millar, speaking at the launch of his autobiography 'Racing Through The Dark' once counted Armstrong as a firm friend, with the American supporting the Scot during his comeback. However, the pair have had little contact since a stand-up argument at the end of the 2007 Tour de France.

"The entire Lance thing -- did he dope or didn't he dope -- is suffocating the sport and obscuring a lot of good developments," Millar said. "Whatever the outcome -- and I'm struggling to see a happy ending -- we have to accept the verdict collectively and move on. That would offer some sort of closure and we can call a halt to the endless process and draining debate.

"We have to end it and the FDA are the best qualified to do the definitive investigation. In fact, cycling has always been 'saved' by judicial investigations and not by the anti-doping controls we put in place. That's the harsh truth. We have relied on them to clean the sport up.

"My own doping was uncovered by a French police investigation. Operation Puerto was a massive undercover operation by the Spanish Police.

"The Festina drug ring was unmasked in 1998 by vigilant customs officers making a drug bust and now the investigation into US Postal and Lance is being headed up by the FDA.

"I can't say definitively if Lance doped or not. Yes, there are all the stories and rumours but I certainly never saw him dope with my own eyes. If he did dope, after all he has said and done, it would be unforgivable.

"I have always thought that he could have done more against doping. He was in a position to make a difference." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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