Two people were in police custody Monday after the opening of an investigation into suspicions of doping by the Arkea-Samsic team during this year’s Tour de France, the Marseille prosecutor’s office announced on Monday.
Dominique Laurens said in a statement that the investigation was targeting a “small part of the team” and that those in custody were part of “the entourage close to the main rider”.
The prosecutor did not name the main rider. The leader of the Arkea-Samsic team is the Colombian Nairo Quintana.
The investigation aimed “the administration and the prescription without medical justification of a substance or a prohibited method during a sporting event, and aiding and encouraging the use of this substance or method”, adds the press release.
Research has led to “the discovery of many health products, including drugs, in their personal effects and especially of a method that can be qualified as doping,” he says.
Arkea-Samsic team leader Emmanuel Hubert confirmed that the team’s hotel was raided last week. He said the search was aimed at a “very limited” number of runners and their entourage, who he said were not employed by the team.
Hubert said the investigation “did not directly target the team or its staff.
“We obviously support our riders, but if the investigation confirms the veracity of doping practices, the team would immediately dissociate themselves from such acts,” Hubert added in his press release.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) told Reuters it “welcomes and supports the action of all authorities involved in this operation”.
The UCI declared that it would take “the necessary measures once it has reviewed the information obtained by the French judicial authorities.
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