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Heras action stalls revised ’05 Vuelta award ceremony

The organizer of the Vuelta a España has decided to defer presenting the golden jersey from the 2005 Vuelta to runner-up Denis Menchov after the rider who won the race and was subsequently suspended for doping, Spaniard Roberto Heras, launched a legal challenge to the sanction. Roberto Heras, who had won a record fourth Vuelta in 2005 while riding for Liberty Seguros, tested positive for EPO after the 20th stage. He drew a two-year suspension from the Spanish cycling federation, which also stripped him of the 2005 title and awarded the victory to Menchov. But a presentation ceremony to a

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By Staff and wire reports

The organizer of the Vuelta a España has decided to defer presenting the golden jersey from the 2005 Vuelta to runner-up Denis Menchov after the rider who won the race and was subsequently suspended for doping, Spaniard Roberto Heras, launched a legal challenge to the sanction.

Roberto Heras, who had won a record fourth Vuelta in 2005 while riding for Liberty Seguros, tested positive for EPO after the 20th stage. He drew a two-year suspension from the Spanish cycling federation, which also stripped him of the 2005 title and awarded the victory to Menchov.

But a presentation ceremony to a revised podium comprising the Russian and Spaniards Carlos Sastre and Francisco Mancebo has been scrapped to ward off any potential legal ramifications should Heras win his appeal against the sanction.

The 32-year-old Heras filed his legal challenge in a court in the Spanish city of Valladolid.

“We have received notice that Roberto Heras has begun legal action against the resolution of the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) after his positive test in the 20th stage of the 2005 Tour of Spain,” said a statement from the race organizer Unipublic released Tuesday.

“Although the rider has been sanctioned as expected, Unipublic has decided to call off the ceremony scheduled for March 23 in order to safeguard itself against the possible consequences of legal action.

“We would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused to the riders Menchov, Sastre and Mancebo, to their teams and their sponsors.”