Convicted drugs cheat Millar moves closer to London 2012
CONVICTED drugs cheat David Millar has taken a step closer to competing at the London 2012 Olympics after he was named on an eight-man short-list for the men's road team.
EVER CLOSER: Convicted drugs cheat David Millar has taken a step closer to competing at the London 2012 Olympics
Double world silver medallist Millar, 35, was banned from cycling for two years in 2004 after he admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs but he became eligible for selection in March, when a BOA life-time Olympic ban on drugs cheats was rescinded.
Millar, who is now a fervent anti-doping campaigner, had previously stated he would not challenge the BOA's bye-law but after the World Anti-Doping Agency ruled against it, he now takes his place on the eight-man short-list, from which three will be cut later this month.
Elsewhere, there were few surprises in the announcement of the rest of the cycling squad with 18 members officially announced - a six-strong women's road team, due to be cut to four, was also unveiled.
In the men's sprint team, four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy is joined by 2011 sprint champion Jason Kenny and Germany-born 19-year-old Philip Hindes.
Hindes' inclusion will raise a few eye-brows despite making his British debut at the 2012 World Championships with both Matt Crampton and Ross Edgar missing out.
The teenager won bronze at the 2010 World Junior Championships, representing Germany, but qualifies for the London 2012 hosts courtesy of his British father.
For the time-being, it remains unsure whether Hoy will contest the individual sprint and the keirin - one of the two, or neither - on top of the team sprint, with Kenny also in contention for both events..
"We have selected what I believe to be an excellent team going into an Olympic Games and we have a good mix of experienced Olympians alongside young riders who are making their Olympic debut," said British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.
"We still have some decisions to make, for example the road teams will be refined in due course and who will ride what event on the track will be determined nearer the time.
"Overall though, the GB Cycling Team has had a strong season across all the disciplines and we are ready to step up again at the Olympics."
Defending Olympic sprint champion Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish have been selected as Great Britain's female sprinters while the men's team pursuit five-strong squad is made up of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke - the quintet which won gold at the 2012 World Championships, setting a new world record in the process.
Similarly, world champions Jo Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott have been picked in the women's team pursuit squad, as has Wendy Houvenaghel, with Trott likely to compete in the omnium as the current world champion.
Liam Phillips and three-time world champion Shanaze Reade are the picks in the BMX events - as was the case in Beijing - while Liam Killeen and Annie Last will compete in the cross-country mountain bike events.
If selected, Millar will be part of a five-strong road team which is sure to also contain world champion Mark Cavendish and three-time Olympic gold medallist on the track Bradley Wiggins.
The other two would then come from Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Steve Cummings.
In the women's road squad, Olympic gold medallist Nicole Cooke, Olympic time trial silver medallist Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armistead have been shortlisted alongside Lucy Martin, Sharon Laws and Katie Colcough.
At the Beijing Olympics, Great Britain topped the cycling medal table, claiming eight gold medals and 14 in total.
© Sportsbeat 2012