Heras' counter-analysis "might be surprising"

Roberto Heras at the Alcala de Henares TT, where his A sample tested positive for EPO

Roberto Heras at the Alcala de Henares TT, where his A sample tested positive for EPO (Image credit: Unipublic)

The lawyer of Liberty Seguros rider Roberto Heras, Andreu Garriga is confident that the outcome of the counter-analysis will be negative, proving that the winner of the 2005 Vuelta a España did not take EPO to boost his performances. The rider's B sample will be opened and tested as of today, Monday, November 21, at the Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) laboratory in Madrid, in the presence of Heras' lawyer and an Italian expert from Florence University.

"I think that there is a possibility [that the B sample test will turn out negative]," Garriga told Spanish newspaper AS. "It would be exceptional, as in 95 percent of all doping cases the counter-analysis is positive, too, but in this case, I have substantial hopes." On top of the alleged unreliability of the urinary EPO test, the attorney bases his confidence on Roberto Heras' serenity facing the investigation.

"Roberto told me that it must be a mistake as he didn't take anything, so the outcome of the counter-analysis must be right. I would be very nervous in his situation, but Roberto shows so much calm that it makes me very confident," continued Garriga, who also trusts the laboratory in charge of the examination. "I'm convinced that the CSD has done a good job and will continue to do so. We want the B sample test to be carried out without any problems, and if so, there might be some surprises."

Nevertheless, should the result of Heras' B sample be a positive, too, the lawyer and his client would "use all possible resources" in the legal fight for innocence. Garriga already defended two Spanish riders, Joan Llaneras, whose B sample vindicated him, and Pascual Llorente, whose use of Banned substance EPO was confirmed. The test results jeopardising Roberto Heras' fourth Vuelta victory, the credibility of his entire career and the future of his Liberty Seguros squad are expected to be released on Thursday, November 24.

An interview with Myles Rockwell

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