Millar feels let down by Cofidis

David Millar tells procycling he feels let down by his team, but has found out who his friends are,

David Millar tells procycling he feels let down by his team, but has found out who his friends are,
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Shamed Cofidis leader, David Millar, due to face a disciplinary hearing this coming week in Manchester over doping offences, is bitter about his treatment by the team's management. "I blame myself - I assume responsibility for what I have done," Millar told procycling. "But I feel let down and taken advantage of." Millar believes that the Cofidis team's management had a duty of care towards him as a new pro. "They took a lot of liberties. They screwed up. They can remember how I arrived at the team, 19 years old. I was so naive. It was my dream and I didn't realise how good I was." But he added: "They had nothing for me." While acknowledging his mistakes, Millar claims that he was under intense pressure to perform. "I was just facing up to my responsibilities, thinking that I owed something to my team. I was getting paid a lot of money to guarantee my results. The management made it clear that I had a lot of responsibilities. "The moment you dope you become 10 times more professional. You say, 'This is no longer sport, this is my job'." Despite his humiliation, Millar has received some support from within the professional scene. "I've realised who are my real friends in cycling. Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson, Stuart O'Grady, Bobby Julich and Lance Armstrong - they have all been in touch. That's all, but then a lot of the others would probably be scared of calling me. Lance was really good. He said: 'Keep your head high - it's not the end of the world'." Millar stridently defended his American friend over the ongoing allegations that have been repeatedly made against him. "There aren't drugs that do what Lance is doing," said Millar in reference to the Texan's record-breaking sixth Tour victory. "Lance could be on all the drugs in the world but they don't do that. I know they don't do that. He's a force of nature. "I know who does and who doesn't and I know what doping does and doesn't do," said Millar, "and there are no miracle products. It doesn't make a donkey into a thoroughbred." * Read more of David Millar's frank interview with procycling editor Jeremy Whittle in September's issue of procycling magazine, on sale mid-August.
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