Cycling: Heras ban leaves career in ruins
Saturday 26 November 2005
The career of Roberto Heras was in ruins yesterday after a B test confirmed a positive reading for the banned drug EPO.
Heras will now be stripped of his fourth, record-breaking title in the Tour of Spain, sacked from his team Liberty Seguros, and banned from racing for a further two years. At 31, a comeback is unlikely.
The Spaniard, who has insisted that he is innocent and that the test is not reliable, said he would continue to fight his case in court.
Delays in the analysis of the second B test - which confirms whether an initial positive reading for a banned substance is valid - had briefly raised hopes on Heras's part that he would be cleared.
Instead, the Spaniard has the dubious honour of being the first winner of a major Tour - one of cycling's showpiece events - to be declared positive for EPO.
The positive test of one of the country's best-known sportsmen will reinforce the Spanish government's resolve to introduce tough new anti-doping laws and put an end to what the sport minister, Jaime Lissavetzky, has described as "a reputation for excessive tolerance".
As for the Tour of Spain, already in serious difficulties due to falling audience shares and previous doping scandals, Heras's sporting demise is nothing short of disastrous.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...