A press release from the Marseille prosecutor’s office indicates that the investigation was opened on July 3 on the possible “acquisition, transport, possession and import of a substance or method prohibited for the use of an athlete without justification by members of the Bahrain Victorious team, currently in action at the 2021 Tour de France. “The investigation is being carried out by the Central Office for the Fight against Attacks on the Environment and Public Health (OCLAESP), in charge of public health based in Marseille, where the investigation was formally opened by a public prosecutor. .
Police confirmed that as part of the investigation, with the approval of a judge, they searched hotel rooms occupied by team members in the suburbs of Pau. Cyclingnews understands that around fifty officers were involved.
“The preliminary investigation is continuing to determine the reality or not of the offenses which justified its opening”, one can read in the press release.
“The existence of this investigation and the operations carried out do not in any way presage the existence of criminal offenses. Anyone suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent until proven guilty. “
Thursday morning Cyclismenews announced that the Bahrain-Victorious team hotel had been raided by French police with dozens of officers on the scene. According to Reuters the raid lasted until 2 a.m. but the team dismissed the story.
“Nothing special, we have a police visit, they ask for the riders’ training records, they check the bus and that’s it,” said team boss Milan Erzen. Cyclismenews.
“They disturb the runners for an hour and at the end they say thank you. They did not tell us what the reason for the visit is, but we will find out today through lawyers. “
Bahrain Victorious confirmed Cyclismenews they would continue in the Tour de France and line up in Pau for the last mountain stage at Luz Ardiden.
” Sure why not ? We will defend our positions, ”they said.