Bahrain Victorious said their Tour de France team hotel and vehicles in Denmark had been searched at the request of French Prosecutors at 5:30am on Thursday, the eve of the opening stage in Copenhagen.
The homes of a number of riders and team staff were also searched by police on Monday before they left for the Tour de France. The team is under investigation after a similar search during the 2021 race.
Danish website Ekstrabladet (opens in new tab) was at the Bahrain Victorious hotel during the search, revealing that riders and staff were held in an area near their team vehicles in the car park.
“The officers searched all team vehicles, staff and riders’ rooms. The team fully cooperated with all the officers’ requests, and the search was completed within two hours,” said Bahrain Victorious in a statement.
“No items were seized from the team.”
“Following the police search, the team is now looking forward to focusing on the world’s biggest and best cycling race, Tour de France. The team will make no further comment on the subject.”
The Danish police confirmed their action in a brief statement.
“On the basis of a court request from the French police, as part of an ongoing investigation in France, the Copenhagen Police have conducted a search of the hotel in Brøndby,” police inspector Dannie Rise said.
“As this is an investigation being carried out by French police, we must refer to them for further comments.”
A statement from the Marseille prosecutor’s office made after the search of the hotel at last year’s Tour de France said the investigation concerned the possible “acquisition, transportation, possession and importing of a prohibited substance or method for use by an athlete without justification by members of Team Bahrain Victorious.”
The team may not have elaborated with further comment on the investigation in Thursday’s statement but earlier this week after Bahrain Victorious confirmed rider and staff homes had been searched, the team had this to say:
“Team Bahrain Victorious always works based on the highest standards of professionalism in sports, including the integrity of all professional members and competitors,” said Bahrain Victorious in the statement from Monday. “The team cooperates constructively in all procedures and with all competent institutions.
“The investigation into the members of the team, which started almost a year ago and did not yield any results, continues just before the start of the most important cycling race, the Tour de France, and damages the reputation of individuals and Team Bahrain Victorious. Due to recent investigations, the team feels the timing of this investigation is aimed at intentionally damaging the team’s reputation.”
“At no time, and so far, have the team been informed of the progress, results or received any feedback about the investigation from the Marseilles Prosecutor’s Office. Bahrain Victorious has repeatedly requested access to the file or acquaintance with the state of investigation but without success.”