In July 2012, on the eve of the London Olympics, the Irish Independent reported that Heffernan (pictured), Loughnane and Brendan Boyce were preparing for the Games at a training camp in Guadix, Spain - the home of Paco Fernandez.
"His doping ban is none of my business," Heffernan told Kim Bielenberg. "If he is around he is willing to offer advice, and I don't see a problem with that."
"There is no suggestion that any of the other walkers has had any involvement with the Spanish coach," Bielenberg noted. And that was true. But it was also true that Montserrat Pastor lived in Guadix and that Loughnane was working with her again.
"I went back to her in 2011," Loughnane says. "Chris Jones was doing all my programmes with me. 'Monsee' was doing the technical work. Herself and Paco, I know, had a huge falling out and she claimed she had been betrayed. I had nothing to do with Paco at the camp. I had never spoken to the guy since 2009 and have always distanced myself from him."
But Heffernan has no such qualms.
Last week, on these pages, he insisted to Cathal Dennehy: "Growing up, you read about somebody doping and you think 'fucking hang them, never let them back'. But when you know somebody personally, you see the human side. When people do something wrong, when they're your friends, you can't just leave them when they're down. I spoke to Paco and he said that he never doped, that the doctor was dodgy and he was implicated when the doctor sent a package to him, but he was always adamant to me that he never took drugs."
Heffernan is free, of course, to act and believe what he wants, and his loyalty to his friend is admirable. But there's a bigger picture here and he's not seeing it - and, until he does, I don't care. I don't care what he did in Moscow. I don't care what he does in Rio. I don't care about the sacrifices he has made or how hard he trains. I don't care.
And please, spare us all the constant whining about the dope controls. When you lie down with dogs you catch fleas.