Ex-Cyclist Launches One Million Euro Compensation Claim

Roberto Heras Hernández, Spanish former professional road bicycle racer who won the Vuelta a España a record-tying three times, has remarked he plans to initiate a legal action for claiming one million euro in compensation.

Heras, who was racing with the Liberty Seguros team at the time of his victory, had previously competed with Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service squad. Heras was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the U.S. Postal team from 2001 to 2003. He retired after he was stripped of the 2005 Vuelta title for testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO). Heras won a subsequent Spanish Supreme Court battle over the same issue one year ago. His 2005 Vuelta title was given to the runner-up Denis Menchov.

President of the Spanish cycling federation RFEC, Jose Luis Lopez Cerron, remarked that Heras had faxed that federation and a government sports’ panel to tell them about the legal complaint. It was stated by Cerron that he had not enough time for considering a response but it was later reported by Bloomberg that the state will fight the claim due to be held in a civil court in Madrid, according to a government official.

The ex-cyclist is seeking compensation due to him on the account of what he says was a loss of earnings. The positive test of Roberto Heras came after a surprising second place finish in the penultimate day time trial in the 2005 Vuelta a España. Heras finished just fractions of a second behind the day’s winner Ruben Plaza even though he was a flyweight climber who seldom rode strongly against the clock. Heras beat recognized time trial specialists such as Denis Menchov. However, Heras was banned after his positive EPO test and he decided to launch an action with the Contencioso Administrativo del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Castilla y León civil court rather than fight his two year ban through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The cyclist claimed that the samples took 40 hours to be delivered rather than 24 hours and his samples arrived at room temperature rather than being refrigerated and they were transported by people who were not identified. It was also claimed by Heras’ legal team that the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples of Heras were analyzed by the same people and that they were aware of the name of the person they were testing, which violated the requirements for anonymity. Heras was able to successful lay claim to the overall victory in the 2005 Vuelta a España when the Supreme Court ruled against the Spanish cycling federation and the state attorney on December 21st of last year. This was after Heras won that appeal in June 2011.

In 1995, Roberto Haros turned professional for the Spanish cycling team Kelme and his first professional win came in 1996 in the Subida al Naranco. The cyclist assisted Lance Armstrong in the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Heros left US Postal to lead the Spanish Liberty Seguros team at the end of 2003 and entered the Vuelta a España and won to equal Tony Rominger’s record three wins.

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