The hotel and the bus of the victorious Bahrain Cycling-Tour team raided by the police

By Julien Pretot

PAU, France (Reuters) – Police raided the home and bus of Bahrain Victorious on the Tour de France on Wednesday after the 17th stage amid doping suspicions, a police source told Reuters.

“On the eve of the 18th stage of the Tour de France, the Bahrain Victorious team was investigated by the French police. The team was watched by a number of officers following its arrival after the 17th stage at the team hotel in Pau. Bahrain Victorious confirmed in a statement.

“The investigation involved a search of the riders’ rooms as part of the process. While not knowing the reasons for the investigation, the team was also asked to provide any training records that were compiled. and presented to officers as requested. “

Team technical director Vladimir Miholjevic said: “After stage 17, we were greeted by several French police officers. We did not receive a reading warrant, but the team responded to all police inquiries.

The search was carried out by agents of the Central Office for the Fight against Threats to the Environment and Public Health of the National Gendarmerie of France (OCLAESP) amid suspicion of doping since last year, added the police source.

A member of another team staying at the same hotel, who declined to be named because they were not free to discuss the case, told Reuters that “dozens” of plainclothes police carried out the searches until 2 a.m. local time.

Bahrain Victorious won two stages of the Tour de France this year thanks to the Slovenian Matej Mohoric and the Belgian Dylan Teuns, while the Dutch Wout Poels leads the mountain standings.

Their best-ranked rider in the general classification is the Spaniard Peio Bilbao in 10th place, 12.53 seconds behind the leader Tadej Pogacar, the Slovenian, defending champion.

“We are committed to (the) highest level of professionalism and compliance with all regulatory requirements and will always cooperate in a professional manner,” the team statement added.

“The process had an impact on the recovery and meal planning of our runners and as a professional team the well-being of our team is a key priority.”

Thursday’s 18th stage is a 129.76 km mountain race from Pau to Luz Ardiden in the French Pyrenees.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ken Ferris)

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