• JJ Cobo, winner on the road of the 2011 Vuelta, could have the title stripped after discovery of abnormalities in his biological passport (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced Thursday evening (AEST) that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has found 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan José Cobo guilty of a doping violation based on biological passport variations.
SBS Cycling Central

14 Jun 2019 - 9:16 AM  UPDATED 14 Jun 2019 - 9:17 AM

The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the now-retired J.J. Cobo guilty of use of a prohibited substance based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport.

The tribunal imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the rider, running from 2009 to 2011 and including the Spaniard's Vuelta a Espana victory while riding for Geox-TMC.

The decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport pursuant to Article 30.2 of the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal Procedural Rules and Article 74 of the UCI Constitution within one month.

A biological passport is an individual, electronic record for each rider, in which the results of all doping tests collected in the framework of this programme over a period of time are collated.

Cobo becomes the latest rider to be caught out by the biological passport, a list that includes Denis Menchov, who had his 2009 Giro d'Italia victory stripped. Menchov was also a rider on the Geox-TMC squad for Cobo's Vuelta win. 

If the finding goes unappealed within a month, a decision can then be made to vacate the Vuelta win, meaning that Chris Froome (Team Sky) will be elevated to what would be his seventh Grand Tour victory, with teammate Bradley Wiggins and Bauke Mollema filling out the podium.

Froome is currently in intensive care in a hospital in Saint-Étienne after a successful seven hour surgery following his horrific crash in a course recon for the time-trial at the Criterium du Dauphine.

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