What of the most affected British athletes? Much has already been written about Dwain Chambers ( I have had my own views in previous blog posts). Carl Myerscough has largely escaped attention due to the less glamorous nature of his event (shot put).
David Millar is the case which interests me most. My views have vacillated along the way, but solidified after reading his book, Racing through the Dark. Millar was a successful cyclist, capable of winning a stage of the Tour de France before he ever doped. The book describes his gradual slide into doping when faced with the realities of competing clean against systematic dopers. Once caught and exposed, he confessed, co-operated and began the long and painful journey towards redemption. Having served his 2 year ban, Millar has travelled a very long way. He has worked with the authorities including WADA, he sits on their athletes council, and has been a centre piece of a Garmin team created with a strong anti doping ethos.Millar has kept quiet about the BOA By Law and not sought to challenge it. The book is a searing insight into a journey from a spoilt child to a serious and credible adult. It would be wrong, when so many are able to return, often with indecent haste, that a man who is now in credit, in doping terms, could not. Doping bans must be fair and proportionate. Nothing is served by double jeopardy and double standards. I will applaud Millar's participation at the Olympics and hope he is able to play a part in British success.
Today WADA announces that its draft new code will not attempt to resurrect the 'Osaka Rule' (banning drug cheat athletes from the next Olympic Games), but instead will increase the sentencing starting point for serious drug offences to 4 years. This would appear to vindicate the stance taken by the BOA in contesting the WADA decision to seek to outlaw their bylaw. A better day for sport!