This story first appeared on Velonews.com.
For the second time in a week the Bahrain Victorious team were subject to a set of police raids on the eve of the Tour de France.
On Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m. it was the turn of the Danish authorities – at a request from French investigators – to descend on the team hotel and search the hotel rooms of staff and riders. The latest developments come just a few days after Europol made several raids across Europe at key staff and riders’ homes. This also stems from the ongoing doping investigation that was launched by the French authorities during last year’s Tour de France into the team. During last year’s Tour 50 police officers searched rooms at the team’s hotel. They seized phones, laptops, and medical products.
“Following the police search into some staff and riders’ homes on Monday, the Team Bahrain Victorious hotel was searched by Danish Police at the request of the French Prosecutors this morning at 5:30 a.m.,” the team wrote in a statement on Thursday.
“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. 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.”
Following the first set of raids on Monday morning VeloNews spoke to the Bahrain Victorious management. They quickly dismissed the investigation and searches of private residences.
“We’re sleeping like babies and working like horses. We’re showing everything through our results and we are 100 percent transparent,” performance manager Vladimir Miholjević told VeloNews.
“Someone who is interested to see how we are working can join our team for a period of time and maybe these people will understand the effort that staff and riders are putting in their jobs to achieve their results.”
“Europol didn’t say what they were looking for,” he added.
“They just came, with warrants, and actually the reasons in the warrant are really funny. This we can’t tell you because we are still talking to our legal team on how to put that out. But you will see. It is extremely funny.”
When contacted by VeloNews a spokesperson for Europol would only state that “the action is ongoing and there’s nothing that we can say.”