Froome in line for 2011 Vuelta title after Cobo found guilty of doping
Chris Froome could be named 2011 Vuelta a Espana champion eight years on after Juan Jose Cobo was found guilty of an anti-doping violation.
Cobo, who was riding for Geox TMC, finished ahead of then Team Sky duo Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Grand Tour in 2011, but on Thursday the UCI confirmed the Spaniard used a prohibited substance.
Vuelta 2011: Wiggins, Cobo, FroomeGetty Images
The statement read: “The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the retired rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (Use of a prohibited substance) based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport and imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”
Cobo could appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but should the disqualification be upheld then Froome would be promoted as race winner and in line for a seventh Grand Tour title.
The news of Cobo’s ban comes while Froome is in intensive care after suffering multiple fractures in a high-speed crash on Wednesday.
The Team Ineos rider was flung into a wall by a sudden wind while attempting to blow his nose during a recon ride at the Criterium du Dauphine. He was travelling at 54km/h.
Froome, who was airlifted to hospital for surgery, suffered a fractured right femur, a broken hip, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs.
Should Froome be awarded the 2011 Vuelta, he would become the first Briton to have won a Grand Tour title.