Team Sky rider Christopher Froome of Britain celebrates as he wins the 195 km eight stage of the centenary Tour de France, snatching the overall lead away from South African Daryl Impey. (Photo : REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)
Tour de France 2013 has already gone through its first week, and as expected, doping allegations have already surfaced.
Great Britain's Chris Froome took the yellow jersey after his scintillating victory in the mountainous Stage 8, which featured the highest peak in the Tour, while Team Sky completed a rare one-two triumph after Australia's Richie Porte crossed the line 51 seconds later than Froome.
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As impressive as it is, though, doping allegations emerged right after the victory, including a report about Team Sky managing a doping program for its riders.
However, Garmin-Sharp biker David Millar doesn't believe Froome and the rest of Team Sky are cheating. He insisted the victory was earned out of hard work and dedication to the sport.
"Team Sky rode a perfect race, and for the record, I believe they are clean and deserve respect and admiration for it. I don't think they deserve to have mud thrown at them when they work so hard to do it right. It doesn't seem fair," Millar told the Telegraph.UK
Millar, who was suspended for doping in 2004 but returned in professional cycling as an advocate of clean and fair racing, assured 100 percent that Froome is clean from doping.
"We as a team at Garmin have been flag bearers for clean cycling. We want to try to prove to the public and media that it is possible to perform at the biggest races clean. We love the sport so I will occasionally step in and defend someone who I think is being treated unfairly."
"Chris has dedicated his life to racing, he does everything right but Sky perhaps don't defend themselves as well as they could. So I stepped in and did it."
Millar also defended Team Sky for not releasing the power data of the team's riders, believing that the team isn't hiding illicit practices, but just holding onto its training secrets.
"I think transparency, as regards numbers, is very debatable. We're a competitive, professional sport. It's one thing satisfying the skeptics but at the same time you have to be professional, wanting to win races. It's a tightrope Sky are walking, trying to be transparent but also keeping their training secrets," said Millar.
The Tour de France 2013 will take a day off on Monday, but the competition will resume on Tuesday for the Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo Stage.