Winner Juan Jose Cobo found guilty of doping violation
Chris Froome could win a seventh Grand Tour despite currently being in intensive care.
The Team Ineos rider could be awarded the 2011 Vuelta a Espana after the UCI confirmed that the winner of that year's race Juan Jose Cobo has been found guilty of an anti-doping violation.
Cobo, who was riding for the Geox-TMC team at the time finished 13-seconds ahead of Froome on general classification. Froome's Sky teammate at the time Bradley Wiggins was third, with Rabobank's Bauke Mollema in third.
The Spaniard claimed the leader's jersey after winning stage-15 in the mountains, and he would retain the lead all the way to the finish in Madrid.
The UCI announced that its Anti-Doping Tribunal has found Cobo guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (Use of a prohibited substance) based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport. The 38-year old is now retired, but has been handed a 3-year ban.
Cobo has the option of appealing the UCI decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within a month. A decision on who is ultimately declared the 2011 winner will only be made once the case is completed.
Froome is currently in intensive care in a St. Etienne hospital following an horrific crash. The four-time Tour de France winner fractured his femur, elbow and ribs as the result of a 55kmph collision his recon ride of yesterday's 4th stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. The 34-year old will miss the chance to win a 5th yellow jersey next month as a result.
Team Ineos Doctor Richard Usher provided an update on Froome's health on Thursday afternoon, "First things first, the surgery was a success. The operation, which lasted for six hours, went very well.
"Chris woke up this morning and was reviewed by the intensive care consultants and the orthopaedic specialist who operated on him and they’re both very happy with his progress to date.
"Chris will remain in hospital for the next few days for observation, but he is already actively engaging in discussing his rehabilitation options, which is very encouraging.
"As he begins his road to recovery, the team will now only be providing further updates at a stage where it is necessary to do so."