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Spanish cyclist Heras maintains innocence one year later

Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) celebrating his fourth Vuelta win which was later taken away

Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros) celebrating his fourth Vuelta win which was later taken away (Image credit: Unipublic)

One year after his positive doping test, Spanish cyclist Roberto Heras said he has been denied the access he has requested to details surrounding his test. The 32-year-old Heras and former teammate of Lance Armstrong rode for the Liberty Seguros team, directed by Manolo Saiz. He tested positive for EPO one year ago on his way to what was to be his fourth victory in the Vuelta a España.

"When I first learned of the positive, my lawyer (Jose Maria Buxeda) and I requested data, including the procedure followed [for the test]. They gave us 20 pages of information for the first sample analysis. With the counter analysis, we asked for the same [information], but a year later, we are still waiting," Heras told the Spanish daily Marca. "I feel defenceless."

After lamenting a lack of support from his former team following the positive test, Heras admitted to the Marca that his last year without cycling has been difficult. "July was hard, when the Tour de France started. It's a race to which I've always been devoted. Ever since my first Tour in 2000, I wanted to do well there, although I haven't always done so. Every day, when I get out of bed, I think about how it is possible after a year that I don't have my full test results. For that reason, it has been a very strange year for me. I had 17 years of doing the same things, living by and for cycling, and now I am not racing as a professional."

Heras maintained his innocence and renewed his commitment to fight his positive result. "I dream about returning to racing. A year ago, we said we were going to fight, and that is what we are doing, but it is a long, hard process. We've requested it [the additional information] four times and now we are going to ask for it for a fifth, but we still haven't had an answer."

Heras has already served one year of his two-year ban. He is eligible to compete again after two years if the ban is not rescinded, but he will have to wait a total of four years before rejoining any ProTour team.

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