Vincenzo Nibali says he is not interested in inheriting the Vuelta title ©Getty Images

Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali has claimed he is "not interested" in inheriting this year's Vuelta a España title by default in the event of it being stripped from Chris Froome.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced earlier this month that Britain's Froome had failed a drugs test at the Spanish Grand Tour, for asthma medication salbutamol.

He was found to have had twice the permitted 1,000 nanograms per millilitre concentration in his sample but has denied any wrongdoing and has not been suspended.

Froome, who won the Vuelta after clinching a fourth Tour de France title earlier in the season, claims that he upped his dosage on the advice of his team doctor after his asthma got worse mid-race.

Any forfeiture of the Vuelta result would leave Nibali, who finished second, in line to be promoted to victory.

"It has never happened to me before and I don't know what the emotions will be like," Nibali, who won the Vuelta in 2010 and also boasts two Giro d'Italia and one Tour de France title, said to

"All I know is that I gave everything to be on the top step. 

"I was on the podium, standing on the second step, and if the victory is given to me those emotions will never be the same. 

"I'm not interested in pushing for this kind of victory.

"It is not in my interest at all. 

Chris Froome, wearing the Vuelta leader's red jersey, has denied all wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name ©Getty Images
Chris Froome, wearing the Vuelta leader's red jersey, has denied all wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name ©Getty Images

"I believe in the rules and regulations, and I believe that the authorities will do what they have to do and whatever comes of it comes of it, but those emotions will never be felt."

Froome, who rides for Team Sky, has appointed London-based lawyer Mike Morgan to fight the verdict.

Salbutamol can be taken without the need for a Therapeutic Use Exemption - in which an athlete receives medical permission to take an otherwise banned substance - so long as the legal limit is not exceeded.

Froome's level was found to be 2,000 nanograms per millilitre - twice the permitted limit.

The decision not to suspend him has been met with controversy with German cyclist Tony Martin claiming a "double standard" when compared to other cases.

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) also declared today that the 32-year-old should be suspended by Team Sky.

"Once again, trouble has been brought upon cycling with the suspicion of a violation of the international anti-doping rules," a statement said. 

"Given all the efforts made to prevent these kind of events from happening, this is regrettable.

"This is the reason why MPCC and its Board of Directors, without making any assumption towards the final decision, asks Team Sky to suspend its rider on a voluntary basis, until the end of the procedure. 

"This measure would allow the rider and its team to focus on their defence with serenity, but also to avoid tension among many managers and riders."

The MPCC represents seven UCI WorldTour teams, which does not include Team Sky.