Some riders and staff of Team Bahrain Victorious had police search their homes on Monday, just four days before start of the Tour de France.
In a statement, the team said that they “have always had the highest standards of professionalism in sports, including the integrity of all professional members and competitors. 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.”
The house searches on Thursday are part of a year-long investigation process that began following the team’s performances at last year’s Tour de France. Bahrain Victorious was the only team in the Tour de France under investigation during the race last year. The team claims that it has never been informed of the progress, results or received any feedback about the investigation from the Marseilles Prosecutor’s Office. Bahrain Victorious has also apparently requested access to the file or acquaintance with the state of investigation but withou success.
The team claims that after the investigation was carried out, the investigators illegally provided information regarding the seized items, on the basis of which an article was published in a professional medical journal. The journal stated that the team did not possess illicit substances.
After almost a year of unsuccessful efforts by the team to obtain additional information, the investigators have begun a new investigation just days before the start the Tour, which the team now claims casts a shadow of doubt on the purpose of the investigation.
The team posted that it will continue to cooperate completely transparently with authorities.