Prosecutors investigate doping allegations against Bahrain Victorious at Tour de France

Authorities raid hotel and bus of team after stage 17 on Wednesday night

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into doping allegations against Tour de France team Bahrain Victorious.

The prosecutor's office in the city of Marseille said that the investigation was into “acquisition, transport, possession, import of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for use by an athlete without medical justification”, according to Reuters.

Riders’ rooms and the team bus were searched, while the team was asked to provide copies of all training files after Stage 17 on Wednesday night.

The team’s technical director Vladimir Miholjevic said: “Following Stage 17, we were greeted by several French police officers. We were not given a warrant to read through, but the team complied with all the officers’ requests.

“We are committed to the highest level of professionalism and adherence to all regulatory requirements and will always be co-operating in a professional manner. The process had impacted our riders; recovery and meal planning and as a professional team, the well-being of our team is a key priority.”

Judicial officials in Pau stated “judiciary actions” took place at the team hotel, without further details. About 25 officers from a special public health unit (OCLAESP) in charge of the case were involved in the search, according to police.

The team will continue in the race, with Thursday’s Stage 18 to Luz Ardiden the last of the mountain legs.

Bahrain Victorious have enjoyed a successful Tour so far despite the loss of their main general classification hope Jack Haig in a crash on stage three.

They collected back-to-back wins on Stages 7 and 8 through Matej Mohoric and Dylan Teuns, while Wout Poels leads the king of the mountains classification and sprinter Sonny Colbrelli, twice in the top three on mountain stages, sits third in the points classification.

Pello Bilbao is the best placed of the team’s riders overall, sitting 10th, almost 13 minutes off UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar in the yellow jersey.

Their British rider Fred Wright, 22, is the youngest rider in this year’s event.

Updated: July 15, 2021, 12:03 PM