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Froome potentially awarded 2011 Vuelta a Espana as Cobo banned for biopassport abnormalities

Juan Jose Cobo has been handed a retrospective three-year sanction for abnormalities in his biopassport

Joe Robinson
13 Jun 2019

The rider who famously beat Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins to the 2011 Vuelta a Espana title has been sanctioned for doping during that period, meaning Froome could be handed the win retrospectively.

The UCI confirmed that Juan Jose Cobo has been handed a retrospective three-year ban between 2009 and 2011 for abnormalities in his biological passport.

'The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving Juan José Cobo Acebo,' 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.

'In accordance with the Procedural Rules of the Anti-Doping Tribunal, the decision will be published on the UCI website in due course.'

The statement concluded by stating Cobo could appeal the decision through the Court of Arbitration for Sport within one month of today.

If the decision is upheld, Cobo would likely be stripped of his results throughout this three-year period which includes his famous Vuelta General Classification victory in which the then 30-year-old shocked the likes of Froome and Wiggins to the red jersey.

During that race, Cobo famously won the stage atop the Angliru which ultimately saw Wiggins relinquish the race lead and the veteran Spaniard take the win.

Such a decision could subsequently see Froome, who finished second at the race, bumped up to first and awarded the overall victory. 

That would see Froome move onto seven Grand Tour victories, joint fourth on the all-time list alongside Fausto Coppi, Miguel Indurain and Alberto Contador.

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