Counter-analysis confirms Heras positive for EPO
After some delays and confusion, Roberto Heras’s positive test for the blood-booster EPO at the Vuel
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The counter-analysis undertaken on Roberto Heras’s B sample after he tested positive for the blood-booster EPO on the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espa¤a has confirmed the positive result.
Once the International Cycling Union has been able to confirm the result of the test, Heras will be stripped of his record-breaking fourth Vuelta success, and the victory will be given to runner-up Denis Menchov of Rabobank.
Already under suspension from his Liberty Seguros team, 31-year-old Heras now faces the sack and quite possibly the end of his competitive career. A two-year ban is likely, and the rules of the ProTour prevent any rider who has tested positive from being employed by a team within the series for the four years after the offence has been committed.
There is no news yet of a response from Heras, but it seems extremely likely given his recent criticism of the urine test for EPO that he will appeal against the verdict. Action in the Spanish civil courts by Heras is also a possibility.
According to the very latest news reports in Spain, the CSD laboratory in Madrid this afternoon concluded the testing process that was started on Monday. Since news of his positive test for EPO in his A sample was leaked to the press more than two weeks ago, Heras has repeatedly stated his innocence, insisting he has never used doping products.