Froome could be handed 2011 Vuelta after Cobo found guilty of doping violation

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Chris Froome could be retrospectively crowned 2011 Vuelta a Espana champion after winner Juan Jose Cobo was found guilty of a doping violation by the UCI.

A statement from the UCI stated abnormalities were found in the biological passport of the retired 38-year-old Spaniard between 2009 and 2011.

A three-year period of ineligibility has been imposed on the rider, but the decision can be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Team INEOS rider Froome, currently recovering from successful surgery in a French hospital following a major crash at the Criterium du Dauphine which left him with multiple fractures, came second behind Cobo in the Vuelta eight years ago.

In the event he is handed the victory, it would be Froome's seventh Grand Tour triumph.

He would also replace Bradley Wiggins as the first British rider to win a Grand Tour, with Wiggins' success at the Tour de France coming a year later in 2012.