Spanish federation to appeal Heras verdict

Count the victories that Heras has in the Vuelta: 4

Count the victories that Heras has in the Vuelta: 4 (Image credit: AFP)

Spanish cycling federation president Juan Carlos Castaño has revealed that his organization is set to appeal against the revocation of the ban imposed on Roberto Heras after he tested positive for EPO at the 2005 Vuelta. This follows last week's decision by the Supreme Court of Castilla y León to overturn the two-year ban on Heras on technical details relating to the testing procedure.

"The federation has to comply with the decision," Castaño told AS, "but we don't agree with it at all as it goes against our Competitions Committee, which suspended Roberto Heras for his positive test at that time."

Castaño added: "Our plan is to request an annulment order at the Supreme Court. We believe that the legislation is being applied on a much-delayed basis. Governments have also recognized that the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the organization that has to intervene in sporting questions. If it doesn't, then we could end up in a situation where there are different resolutions in different cases, some of them dragging out for longer than others depending on each country's laws."

Castaño acknowledged that the federation's legal challenge will be made jointly with the Spanish government's Consejo Superior de Deportes, which ratified the sanction imposed on Heras. He also affirmed his displeasure at civil courts getting involved in sporting issues.

"I don't like the administrative delays that result when they get involved. Roberto Heras tested positive in the 2005 Vuelta, and now six years later there has been a development. We are all complaining about a one-year delay at the CAS being a very long period of time, but we will need another three or four before we get to know the definitive verdict on Heras at the Supreme Court."

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).