Heras drug ban declared void in court

Fri, 24 Jun 14:57:00 2011

A two-year ban for doping imposed on three-times Vuelta a Espana winner Roberto Heras in 2006 has been declared void by a Spanish court.

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The Spanish rider tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO on the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana on his way to a record fourth overall victory in 2005.

When Heras was punished the following year he was stripped of his fourth title, which was instead given to Russia's Denis Menchov.

A court in Valladolid ruled the government-run Spanish sports council's disciplinary body was incompetent to rule on an international race, and overturned the Spanish cycling federation's punishment and annulment of Heras's race results.

The ruling also cited a series of procedural irregularities in the handling of the case by the authorities.

Heras, 37, retired from competition after serving his two-year ban.

The former US Postal team mate of seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, had appealed against his punishment, arguing first that there must have been a laboratory mix-up and then that the testing process for EPO was flawed.


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