Four-time Vuelta a España winner Roberto Heras is set to receive nearly three-quarters of a million Euros from the Spanish government after a court ruled the state were at fault for his reversed doping suspension.
A drug test from stage 20 of the Vuelta – a race which he won – showed a positive test for EPO two months after the event. Heras’s title was stripped and he was fired from his Liberty Seguros team.
Heras appealed the ban, claiming inaccuracies in the testing and mishandling of samples – an appeal that was successful and upheld in the Spanish supreme court.
Having reinstated Heras as the 2005 Vuelta champion, the former rider sued the Spanish cycling federation in January 2015 for over one million Euros.
Judge Berta Santillan Pedrosa ruled that the Spanish state was at fault for the error and was liable for paying Heras compensation.
With his restored 2005 title, Heras is the only rider to have won the Vuelta four times. His best result at the Tour de France came in 2000 when he finished fifth, the same position he finished in his only ever Giro d’Italia in 1999.
After his ban between 2006 and 2008, Heras returned to cycling to win the Brompton World Championships in 2009 – beating Cycling Weekly’s very own Dr Hutch – having finished as runner-up the previous year