Former professional David Millar in a revealing opinion piece published in the New York Times titled ‘How to get away with doping’ has provided a detailed account of his personal use of use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during his career.

Millar offered an account about the powerful effects of Kenacort and how the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have failed in their oversight of the list of drugs available with a Therapeutic Use Exemption and in their administration of the application process.

Millar said Kenacort was so powerful that it was ultimately destructive. The former cyclist said the substance, apart from being a catabolic agent, would also suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Millar said he took Kenacort only twice after 2001: for the 2002 Vuelta a España and the 2003 Tour de France. The ex-cyclist went on to reveal that he used to take an initial 20 to 40 milligram dose, and then topped up with 10 to 20 milligrams about 10 days later both times in order to prolong the effects into the final week of the three-week stage race and to avoid too rapid a descent off it. Millar added he was taking this powerful, potentially dangerous drug as a performance enhancer, yet he was doing so within the rules — thanks to the T.U.E. loophole.

Millar was arrested by French police in 2004 and confessed to making the use of Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2001 and 2003. The UCI imposed a ban of two years on him in August 2004 and Millar was stripped of his 2003 individual time trial world title and was fired by his Cofidis team.

Millar made a return to racing in 2006 with Saunier Duval–Prodir but would leave the team at the end of 2007 season to join the newly created Slipstream–Chipotle outfit. The American team and its owner Jonathan Vaughters on a strong anti-doping stance with Millar becoming a spokesman for ‘clean cycling’.

Millar wrote in the New York Times article that he served a ban of two years but he was at least free of all the deception and disgust. The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist said he was determined to do everything in his power when he returned to the sport for preventing the next generation of riders having to make the decisions he had made. Millar said telling his story is his way of helping to prevent other athletes’ careers being poisoned as his was. The former professional cyclist also wrote he believes the “the biggest races are today being won by clean riders.”

The Scottish former professional road racing cyclist added the Fancy Bears hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the release of Therapeutic Use Exemptions for athletes such as Team Sky’s Tour de France winners Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome has opened the world’s eyes to a disturbingly gray area in sporting law: the therapeutic use exemption, and shown the system is open to abuse.

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