Heras launches one million euro compensation claim over dismissed EPO positive
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Heras launches one million euro compensation claim over dismissed EPO positive

by Shane Stokes at 2:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Doping
Former Liberty Seguros and US Postal rider claiming for loss of earnings over disqualification and suspension

Roberto HerasAfter first overturning his disqualification as winner of the 2005 Vuelta a España in the Spanish courts in June 2011 and then winning a subsequent Spanish Supreme Court battle over the same issue one year ago, Roberto Heras has said that he plans to begin a legal action to claim one million euro in compensation.

The former professional, who was racing with the Liberty Seguros team at the time of his victory and who had previously competed with Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service squad plus the Kelme outfit, retired after being stripped of the 2005 Vuelta title.

He had tested positive for EPO in that race and saw his overall victory in the race handed to the runner-up Denis Menchov.

The Onda Cero radio station reported yesterday that Heras had begun the action. Bloomberg later confirmed that the president of the Spanish cycling federation RFEC, Jose Luis Lopez Cerron, told it that the climber had faxed that federation plus a government sports panel to tell them about the legal complaint.

He stated that he hadn’t had enough time to consider a response. However Bloomberg reports that a government official said that the state will fight the claim, due to be held in a civil court in Madrid.

Heras is seeking compensation due to what he says was a loss of earnings.

Heras’ positive test came after a surprising second place finish in the penultimate day time trial in the 2005 Vuelta a España. Although he was a flyweight climber who seldom rode strongly against the clock, he finished just fractions of a second behind the day’s winner Ruben Plaza.

In doing so, he beat recognised time trial specialists such as Denis Menchov, who was later awarded the Vuelta title after Heras’ positive test for EPO was confirmed.

Rather than fight his two year ban through the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Heras later launched an action with the Contencioso Administrativo del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Castilla y León civil court. He made a number of claims, including stating that the samples took 40 hours to be delivered rather than 24, arrived at room temperature rather than being refrigerated, and were transported by people who were not identified.

In addition to that, his legal team also claimed that the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples were analysed by the same people and that they were aware of the name of the person they were testing, thus violating the requirements for anonymity.

Once he won that appeal in June 2011, the RFEC and the state attorney appealed to the Supreme Court. When it ruled against them on December 21st of last year, Heras was able to successful lay claim to the overall victory in the 2005 Vuelta a España.

Now, via his latest action, he is seeking repayment of what he believes he lost as a result of his positive test.


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