London: As David Millar was confirmed on the longlist for the Olym-pic road race, Sir Chris Hoy emphasised his opposition to the reversion of the British Olympic Association’s ban on athletes who have tested positive for drugs reported The Guardi-an. Millar was banned between 2004 and 2006 for using the blood booster erythropoietin but became eligible for the London Games after the court of arbitration for sport overturned the BOA’s bylaw.
Millar is one of seven riders who were named as possibles to support Mark Cavendish in the Olympic road race on 28 July, with the actual selection of five to be named on 29 June. Hoy said that while he will welcome his fellow Scot as a fellow team member if he is in the quintet, he wishes that the BOA’s ruling was still in place. “It’s not about individuals or one-off athletes. I’m comfortable with whoever is selected because they are eligible for the team.”
“It’s about having a meaningful deterrent against people thinking of taking drugs, not about an individual who may be part of this team. My standpoint is that someone could have Rio  as a target and could think that it’s worth the risk of taking drugs because they could test positive, come back and compete again. There should be meaningful deterrents that put people off taking drugs. It’s a shame that the bylaw has gone, but it’s gone. I’ll welcome whoever is standing next to me in Great Britain kit.”
The Great Britain performance director Dave Brailsford said that Millar’s place on the longlist came down solely to who was eligible for the team. “Ultimately it’s the BOA’s team. They decide who is eligible, I line them up against that wall over there and select who is the fastest. It’s my job to select the fastest team.” Millar’s selection was no surprise given that he has represented Great Britain at several world road race championships and was a key choice in the team that backed Cavendish en route to winning the world title in 2011.
Brailsford said after announcing the team that Millar’s place in the final five is by no means assured. He added that he and his fellow selectors had taken into account any possible negative impact on the team due to the attention and press coverage that his selection might attract. “It’s a story, an issue, a change from what has happened in the past, but the British Olympic Association has changed its policy and professionally I have to choose the fastest guys. It’s not for me to say I’ll over-ride their thinking from a personal perspective.
“What I do do in terms of selecting the team… will anything surrounding an individual have a negative impa-ct on the group dynamic or even on themselves. It could be such an emotional environment, such a challenging thing for David to go throu-gh, that he might not cope with the whole thing.”