Heras determined to clear himself

Roberto Heras should know the result of his counter-analysis within 24 hours, and is ready to do all

Roberto Heras should know the result of his counter-analysis within 24 hours, and is ready to do all


Roberto Heras's lawyer has said that the currently suspended Liberty Seguros rider will follow every possible avenue available to him to overturn a guilty verdict if his counter-analysis sample from the Vuelta's penultimate stage confirms a positive test for the blood-boosting product EPO.

The first stage in the testing of the sample was undertaken at a Madrid lab on Monday under the watchful eye of two witnesses selected by Heras's legal team as well as by a representative from the Spanish federation. The results of the test are due to be sent to Heras and to the International Cycling Union on Wednesday lunchtime, and a public announcement could be made concerning the results by Wednesday evening.

Heras was represented at the testing process by his personal lawyer, Jos Maria Buxeda, who said that he was sure the counter-analysis would "demonstrate Heras's innocence". But Buxeda added that the rider was prepared to take his case to the civil courts if EPO use is confirmed. The opening of Heras's sample was also overseen by Italian chemistry expert Giuseppe Pierraccini, from the University of Florence.

Heras's B sample will also be sent to the Chatenay-Malabry lab in Paris, where the results will be confirmed.

Buxeda was the latest member of Heras's legal team to cast doubt on the efficacy of the EPO urine test, pointing out that four riders had had initially positive tests overturned following the counter-analysis. On the other hand, 37 positive tests on cyclists have been confirmed using the method.

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