Embattled Squamish triathlete Julie Miller will be on the sidelines for at least two years.
On Nov. 30, Triathlon Canada announced Miller has been banned from any races it sanctions, as well as from representing Team Canada at events outside the country, for two years. The sanctions took effect Nov. 1 and Miller did not appeal by Nov. 28, the deadline of a 15-day period she was granted.
Triathlon Canada CEO Tim Wilson said in a release that the organization seeks to train winners with a commitment to fair play at all levels.
"We have strong policies against athlete misconduct, and our Disciplinary Committee has taken great care to ensure that both, Ms. Miller was given every opportunity to provide evidence in her defense, and that the matter be thoroughly investigated," he stated.
Miller, however, maintained her innocence while saying she did not receive a fair chance to appeal.
"Triathlon Canada's decision is based on previous anecdotal and inaccurate information — there's nothing new here. I was contacted three days before the review and given 72 hours to defend myself. I have young children and a full-time job as well as my volunteer commitments, so this wasn't fair or realistic," Miller noted in a statement to the Squamish Chief.
"Most importantly, I did not cheat and stand by my original statement. I continue to love sport and the joy of fair competition with myself and others, and I am training daily for future events. This has been an extremely difficult, unfair and emotional time for me and my family, and we are looking forward so, respectfully, I won't be commenting any further."
Pique attempted to reach Miller via email, but received no reply by press time.
Miller's troubles began when she was disqualified from July's Subaru Ironman Canada here in Whistler roughly a month after the competition. At the time, she said she had lost her timing chip. Her age-group win at the 2014 Vancouver half Ironman distance was later scrubbed as well.
In addition to the suspension, Triathlon Canada's disciplinary committee determined Miller's results from 2013 to the present should be wiped out and that her Triathlon Canada Award of Excellence should be rescinded. As well, Triathlon Canada has formally requested that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) investigate Miller's results at the 2014 Long Distance World Championships in China. Miller won the female 40-44 age group by five minutes and one second.
A September Vancouver Sun story explained the ITU has already investigated Miller's result and found no evidence to overturn the victory as the group was not able to secure her lap splits.
"We looked into her result in Weihai, as her times from Motala (Sweden) this year to Weihai last year are quite different, and asked the timing company from 2014 World Champs to send us her splits on each lap of each discipline," ITU representative Erin Greene told the Sun in September. "However, the timing company only has records of her swim, bike and run overall splits."
Pique attempted to reach Greene via email to see how the ITU would receive Triathlon Canada's request, but did not hear back by press time.
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