UCI President McQuaid confronted by reformed doper Millar over drug problem

Sunday, 23 September 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Pat McQuaid_at_UCI_press_conference_September_22_2012September 23 - Britain's David Millar has launched an attack on International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid after confronting him at a press conference over the culture of doping in the sport and claiming that the world governing body has not been prepared to face up to its responsbilities. 

The 35-year-old Scot accused McQuaid in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong scandal that they had not done enough to deal with the problem of cyclists taking drugs.

Millar was banned in 2004 for two years having admitted taking banned performance-enhancing drugs after he was arrested by police in French. 

He has since become a leading campaigner in the fight against drugs and is a member of the Athletes' Commission at the World Anti-Doping Agency. 

Millar confronted McQuaid at the World Road Cycling Championships, currently taking place in Limburg, where he is working for the BBC as a commentator. 

"Don't you think you're sending a wrong message when you said the UCI has nothing to be apologetic for?" asked Millar.

McQuaid answered: "No.

"How could we be apologetic?

"The UCI is not responsible for the culture of doping.

"We do more testing than anyone else.

"If we got information at any point in time, we would act on that information.

"You did what you did, and you didn't rush to inform that to the UCI.

"Others doped and then spent small fortunes to tell the UCI and the world they didn't dope, only to later say they did.

"The UCI is not to blame for the culture of doping in the sport."

David Millar_profileBritain's David Millar has claimed that the UCI need to show more responsibility for cycling's drug problems

But Millar did contact the UCI upon his comeback in 2006 over concerns over about doping within the team he had joined, Saunier Duval.

The UCI never got back to him.

"The UCI don't seem to accept any responsibility for the last 15 years," said Millar after his showdown with McQuaid.

"We need them to show leadership and acceptance for us to move forward.

"If it is apparent there was a black period.

"I think it's time for the UCI to say, 'Maybe we didn't do everything we could have done, and we're sorry for that.'

"Now they're just saying, 'Oh, we did everything we could, we have no regrets.'

"It was an era in the sport when doping was prevalent.

"It's something we all have to admit to now.

"It's not that we can just pretend it didn't happen.

"We're seeing now there are repercussions and that's a good thing."

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