November 24/06 10:57 am - Heras Claims Access to Records Denied
Posted by Editor on 11/24/06
Heras Says Access Denied to Records
Reuters and the Spanish newspaper Marca are reporting that Roberto Heras says he has been denied access to the details of his positive doping test during last year's Tour of Spain. Heras says that he needs the data for his appeal against a two-year ban.
In Marca Heras said: "I've been accused of testing positive for EPO (erythropoietin) but I don't have the details of the analysis I need. They gave me 20 pages of details of the analysis of the 'A' sample, but not for the 'B' analysis and I feel defenceless as a result. We've requested it four times and now we are going to ask for it for a fifth, but we still haven't had an answer."
Heras tested positive for EPO in the second to last stage of the Vuelta Espana last year while holding the overall lead in the race. He was riding for Manolo Saiz's Liberty Seguros team, which has been a focus of the Operacion Puerto investigation.
Heras has appealed his positive result and subsequent ban, first suggesting a laboratory mix-up and then alleging that the EPO testing process was flawed.
"I would like the judge to accept my appeal because of the defects and anomalies in the process," he told Marca. "A year ago we said we would fight the decision and even though it is a long and difficult process we will keep doing that. I have to say that I haven't had the backing that I expected from the team. I have no reason to feel guilty. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone, but all I am saying is that I was subject to the discipline of a team and I never broke the rules."
Heras also said he would return to pro cycling at the end of his ban (one more year to run), even though he faces a further two years ban from the ProTour.
"I dream of competing again because my career has been cut short," he told Marca. "It's not going to be easy, but there are other riders who have been in the same position and have come back."