Perhaps inspired by the recent success of Danilo Hondo in using the Swiss civil courts to have his extended ban overturned, Roberto Heras is planning a similar appeal through the Spanish legal system. Heras, who tested positive for EPO at the 2005 Vuelta a Espana has already had an appeal to the court in Castilla y Leon rejected because the body was not prepared to hear his case until all avenues of appeal via sporting courts had been exhausted.
Heras' appeal against his two-year ban is now before a commission of the Spanish Olympic committee, which will make its decision in the next three months. If the ban is upheld, then Heras' lawyer José Maria Buxeda says the next step is the civil courts. "The (civil) court did not basically deny it had jurisdiction," he said Monday. "We will plead if necessary before the civil courts."