After serving a two year doping ban, for failed drugs test, Roberto Heras has decided to quit professional cycling. It appears the main reason is that he is unable to join a pro cycling team and therefore, is unable to get sufficient renumeration. Heras complains:
“I still don’t understand the code of ethics and why ProTour teams can’t hire a rider who like me has served his ban. Other top riders will have to quit the peloton because they can’t find a team.”
Personally, I’m glad that doping bans have been getting more stringent. A Two year ban for organised cheating is insufficient. By making it 4 years for protour teams it acts as a greater disincentive to cheat. Also, it helps to maintain cycling’s credibility. When you get known dopers warmly welcomed back into the peloton, it makes a mockery of all those affirmations to ”rid cycling of doping forever’
When Richard Virenque came back to the pro peloton after consuming industrial quantities of drugs and lying about his use, I really lost a lot of faith in pro cycling. There are numerous other examples as well. But, that’s my opinion make the dopers suffer. (I wish they would confiscate all the prize money as well.)
Heras was a triple winner of the Vuelta a Espagne. He was a teammate of Lance Armstrong during the 2001-03 season, riding for US postals. He failed a test for EPO during the time trial stage of the 2005 Vuelta a Espagne. Heras did unexpectedly well in the time trial, losing by only a second. Heras challenged the test, but, it was later upheld.
Heras’s team Liberty Seguros had a turbulent history with a couple of other riders also revealing suspiciously high levels of hematocrit – possible evidence of EPO use.
- Heras tests positive