This means that Chris Froome is now expected to be given the victory, meaning he would have seven Grand Tour titles to his name, having finished second to Cobo in 2011, and would become the first ever British winner of a Grand Tour.
The UCI have said Cobo’s anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) is “use of prohibited methods and/or prohibited substances”.
Cobo has also been stripped of his 10th place finish at the 2009 Vuelta and suspended from racing for three years. Despite retiring at the end of the 2014 season, he will still face a ban until June 12 2022, when he will be 41 years old.
The Spaniard has been handed a disqualification between August 29 2009 – September 27 2009 as well as August 20th to September 11th 2011, with those dates inclusive of both years’ Vuelta a España editions.
Vuelta director Guillén told Spanish newspaper AS last week that he believed in the anti-doping system even if it took this long for the 2011 winner to be sanctioned.
“I think that justice, the quicker, the more fair, but I believe in the system and that, one way or another, the cheaters are disqualified and the winners have credibility.”
“I have confidence in the anti-doping system, I do not want to prejudge, but the important thing in this such cases is that if there are cyclists who have cheated they must be caught. Let justice be done,” Guillén said.
He went on to say he thought Chris Froome should be awarded the 2011 Vuelta title as he wanted to avoid an Armstrong-style solution that leaves the race without a winner.
“If the first place has been caught cheating, the victory should fall to the one who finished second,” said Guillén.
“Froome finished second and it would be logical, although it is the UCI that must decide if the victory goes to him.”
In May Sammy Sanchez was handed a back-dated two-year ban for a positive test in 2017. Having been given a provisional suspension in August 2017, the 41-year-old will be eligible to race again after August 16, 2019.