David Millar, who served a two year drug ban from 2004 to 2006, has said that being included in Great Britain's Olympic cycling squad felt like "taking off the final handcuff".
After his two-year suspension for taking the blood-boosting agent EPO Millar remained barred from future Olympics under a British Olympic Association (BOA) bye-law imposing a lifetime Games ban on anyone found guilty of, or admitting to, doping offences.
But that ruling was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in April, paving the way for the likes of Millar and sprint runner Dwain Chambers to return to Olympic competition.
Millar was named in an eight-man road cycling squad from which five riders will be selected to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games next Wednesday.
He told the UK's Daily Telegraph: "For eight years, I'd been through it all, bans, sanctions, being ostracised, legal problems, and the only thing left to hang over me was my lifetime Olympic ban and I didn't realise how much I hated living with it until it was actually lifted.
"It was like taking off the final handcuff."
Millar's selection has been widely questioned with four-time gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy particularly vocal in his support of a lifetime ban from Olympic competition.
Although track racer Hoy has pledged to give his team-mate 100 per cent backing Millar appeared unimpressed.
He said: "I understand completely his position.
"He's this paragon of perfection. You know, Sir Chris Hoy. He lives in a white world. Perhaps some of us live in a bit more of a grey world where we understand a bit more of what actually goes on.
"But we need people like Chris. Redgrave's another. Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Steve Redgrave: they're white knights."