Madrid, June 13 (IANS) British cyclist Chris Froome could be awarded the 2011 Vuelta a España after the original winner José Cobo Acebo was retroactively stripped of the title for doping on Thursday.
Froome, who recently underwent surgery after he fractured his femur, hip, elbow and several ribs in a severe crash during the Criterium du Dauphine race, could become Britain’s first Grand Tour winner, reports Efe news.
“The anti-doping tribunal found the retired rider (Juan José Cobo Acebo) 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,” The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said in a statement.
Cobo still has the opportunity to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Froome and his then Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins came second and third, respectively, in the Spanish Grand Tour that year.
The four-time Tour de France winner, who currently rides for Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky until a change in sponsorship in February 2019), went on to win the Vuelta a España in 2017. He has also won the Giro de Italia, the first Brit to do so.
The 34-year-old Brit remained in intensive care at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, France, after the Wednesday’s crash. He hit a wall at high speed when he momentarily took his hand off the handlebars to blow his nose.
“He has undergone surgery to repair his femur, his hip, his elbow,” his team principal Dave Brailsford said in Boen-sur-Lignon before stage 5 of the Dauphine on Thursday.
“He’s got broken ribs, a little bit of internal damage as well. He’s staying in intensive care for the next couple of days,” Brailsford said.
Froome’s injuries have ruled him out of this year’s Tour de France, set to begin on July 6. “It is a serious accident. Clearly, he will not be at the start of the Tour de France,” Brailsford said on Wednesday.
It would take quite a long time before he races again, he added.
Froome has also won three trophies in the Dauphine (2013, 2015 and 2016).