UCI lacks leadership on doping culture, says David Millar

Britain's David Millar has accused the International Cycling Union (UCI) of lacking leadership in their unwillingness to bear some blame for the sport's doping culture.

UCI boss Pat McQuaid told Millar at a news conference on Saturday it is "not responsible for the culture of doping".

And Millar later told BBC Radio 5 live: "The UCI don't seem to accept any responsibility for the last 15 years.

Millar on Armstrong charges

"I think the ramifications, surprisingly for the public, are not quite so big for the sport, because we've been going through a massive rebirth in the last five years, culminating in this year with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France

"Unfortunately we've still got these skeletons in the closet and in order for us to move forward we need to deal with them.

"I've tried to tell people my story so they can understand what the world of cycling was like then.

"There were a lot of good guys who did bad things and it's not as black and white as people think.

"In order to move forward and to have reconciliation we just need to tell the truth."

"We need them to show leadership and acceptance for us to move forward."

McQuaid was speaking a day after the UCI adopted a motion at their annual congress to focus on the anti-doping effort.

But the Irishman said they were not planning to set up a so-called 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' for riders to confess their doping pasts to help clean up the sport for the future.

Millar, who served a two-year ban for doping in 2004, believes there needs to be a frank discussion about what has gone on in the past.

He asked McQuaid at Saturday's news conference: "Don't you think you're sending a wrong message when you said the UCI has nothing to be apologetic for?"

McQuaid responded: "How could we be apologetic? The UCI is not responsible for the culture of doping."

Millar, a four-time Tour de France stage winner and member of Great Britain's London 2012 cycling team, also believes the UCI should apologise for accepting a donation from Lance Armstrong for an anti-doping machine 10 years ago.

Armstrong faces losing his seven Tour de France titles following charges of doping from the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"It's another moment where the UCI refuses to back down from its position," said 35-year-old Scot Millar.

"I think they need a little bit of humility and acceptance and just saying 'we made a mistake', even if they accepted the donation with the best will in the world.

"But at least just please say sorry and let's move on."

McQuaid also reiterated that the UCI is unlikely to appeal Usada's decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas), but insisted it would make a full judgement once it had seen the case file against Armstrong.

"UCI still assumes that the file will justify Usada's position on all of the issues," said Irishman McQuaid.

"We still need to be able to go through those documents before giving our comments."

Millar added: "I think the fact the UCI are acknowledging that they're going to accept the Usada decision, unless there's major discrepancies in the testimonies, is good.

"A lot of us were worried the UCI would drag it to Cas and it wouldn't get closure."