Leblanc: No Tour for Millar

Cofidis will get their Tour start, but Jean-Marie Leblanc is adamant that David Millar won't.

Cofidis will get their Tour start, but Jean-Marie Leblanc is adamant that David Millar won't.
Jean-Marie Leblanc, director of the Tour de France, has confirmed to procycling that Britain's David Millar, leader of the Cofidis team, will not be allowed to start the Tour de France on July 3, after news sources in France reported that the Scot had admitted the use of blood doping products to French police. "There's no chance of the Cofidis team being excluded because they pre-qualified," said Leblanc. But he added, "Since 1998, we have got tired of hearing about drug cases and we decided that we should prevent riders who are implicated from taking part. That includes Millar." An earlier communique from the Tour's offices in Paris was equally unequivocal: "The Tour de France does not allow the participation of any rider involved in a judicial procedure, or implicated in a police investigation," it read. But a spokesman for the British Olympic Association (BOA) said that although the body were closely monitoring the situation, Millar remained a selected athlete for the Athens Olympics. "That remains contingent on his continued nomination from the governing body, of British cycling," he said. "We can't pre-judge the situation. Nothing formal has been sent to the BOA by British Cycling." L'Equipe reported that empty phials of Eprex (a brand name of synthetic erythropoietin, or EPO, the banned red blood cell booster) were found when police searched Millar's home after detaining the Scottish rider in Biarritz. The newspaper, without citing any sources, said that 27-year-old Millar, due to ride in the Tour de France next week, would be charged with illegal possession of toxic products. In a statement on their website Cofidis made their position clear: "If it transpires that he has admitted doping himself, Cofidis Competition will apply the principle of zero tolerance and take appropriate sanctions. Eprex is a brand name of synthetic erythropoietin, (EPO) the banned red blood cell booster, more commonly associated with anemia deficiency. Erythropoietin occurs naturally in the body, and stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the bloodstream. Eprex replicates and enhances this natural function, but among its reported side-effects are seizures, increased blood pressure, thrombosis and allergic skin reactions.
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top