• David Millar at last year's Bradley Wiggins UCI Hour Record attempt in London, England (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
British Cycling's best young road prospects are being mentored by David Millar, the former professional rider who was once banned for anti-doping violations, the governing body said on Thursday.
Cycling Central

12 Feb 2016 - 9:49 AM  UPDATED 12 Feb 2016 - 9:59 AM

In a statement they said Millar, who retired from riding in 2014, was working on a voluntary basis with the men's endurance academy programme in Italy.

Millar, 39, was banned in 2004 after admitting using the blood-booster EPO but returned to become one of the sport's biggest campaigners against performance enhancing drugs.

“I have been there and done it all recently, good and bad,” Millar told The Guardian. “It will make that world seem real to them.

"I’m still close to what they are dreaming of. They can ask me things and they will know they will get real-life experiences as an answer. It’s not just a matter of telling them what not to do, but why.

“I can tell them about the risks, how [doping] can damage you. It’s about qualifying them for the world they are going into. Cycling has cleaned up its act, it’s possible to get to the top clean, but you can see from what’s happening in athletics that there is a way to go.

“I’m in a strong position to educate those guys on what happens. If one of them has doubts about someone he is riding against, sees something he doesn’t understand, he can talk to me. He will know that I will do something about it, and that I will give him an idea of how to cope with it.”

Shane Sutton, British Cycling technical director, said Millar, the first Briton to wear the leader's jersey in all three main Tours, was perfectly placed to help a new generation looking to emulate the feats of Tour de France winners Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

"Nurturing an anti-doping culture is at the heart of everything we do at British Cycling and educating our young riders on the subject is a responsibility we take seriously," he said in a statement.

"Having someone of David's calibre on board to support us in this education process is invaluable; he is readily available to share his well-rounded experiences as a professional cyclist to the young riders who aspire to succeed in their careers."

Sutton said Scot Millar could join the team in a more official capacity.

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