Heras’ Vuelta pipe dream
Is Roberto Heras so blind and dumb that he really thinks he’s getting his Vuelta a Espana title back?
The Spanish climber won his fourth Vuelta back in 2005 while riding for Liberty Seguros after his three year stint at US Postal, the squad with the most professional and well-organized doping program in sports. (Liberty was run by famed hot-head and dope kingpin Manolo Saiz — the man who wished he was as good as Johan Bruyneel.)
In any case, Heras used the time-honored dopers’ defense — those lab coat folks made a mistake with my sample — Heras convinced a civil court in Castilla y Leon to rule in his favor. Then the Spanish Supreme Court agreed with him, too. Now everyone is now waiting for the UCI and WADA to decide how they’ll react.
Heras is not getting his dope-fueled Vuelta victory back.
Maybe Heras is living in a little bubble somewhere in Spain and missed the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear detonation called the USADA Reasoned Decision. The little 2000 page document that concerned his old team captain Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel and a large number of syringes and blood bags.
Maybe he has simply missed all the fallout. The destruction of the Armstrong empire, the calls for UCI president Patrick McQuaid to resign because of corruption and incompetence, the exit of major sponsors Rabobank and RadioShack, the countersuit brought by Irish journalist Paul Kimmage against McQuaid, the firing of riders, the bans on team doctors, the outing of soigneurs and team directors, the Hamilton Book, Change Cycling Now, the independent commission trying to decide who is to blame for the dark doping years.
The guy must take a lot of siestas.
Maybe Heras is operating in a vacuum, a moral void, some kind of parallel universe where nothing else is happening except his desire to steal his robbed Vuelta back.
Roberto, hombre, you can forget your 2005 Vuelta. It will remain with Denis Menchov — unless the news on old Rabobank doping scandal continues to explode thanks to Levi Leipheimer’s allegations and they strip the Russian, too.
The Mayans claimed the world was going to end on December 21st. Not surprisingly they were wrong but 2012 could be called the apocalyptic year in professional cycling.
This was the year the invincible Armstrong Myth died, the year of Truth & Reconciliation and Zero Tolerance. Not a good time to get a dirty Vuelta title back no matter how many local Spanish judges you get to buy your cynical and manipulative case.
The UCI and WADA are not about to let Heras reclaim his doped win. With sponsors and journalists and cycling fans demanding any signs of integrity, the UCI can’t afford to let Heras send the wrong signal that cheating is still condoned.
With Greg Lemond ready to take over the role of interim UCI president while they clean the manure out of the stables, we rate Heras’ chances below zero.
Heras picked a bad time to try to lawyer his way back to the top of the podium. Right now the sport is blowing up from Austin, Texas to Aigle, Switzerland. Just this last week Katusha announced plans to battle the UCI at the Court of Arbitration in Sports over losing their WorldTour license on ethical grounds.
Good hygiene — or the appearance of clean — iis the number one priority in cycling these days. Heras isn’t going to impress anyone outside of Spain with his legal maneuvering.
Given everything happening in the world of pro cycling right now, Heras is loco to think he will again be called the winner of the 2005 Vuelta a Espana. He was on EPO then and now he’s on crack.