Bahrain Victorious riders and staff homes searched before Tour de France start

Continuation of investigation that started at last year's race

Bahrain Victorious Team Car
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bahrain Victorious this afternoon announced that some of its riders and staff members have had their homes searched by police prior to their departure for the Tour de France.

The searches form part of an investigation that got underway in the wake of the team’s success at last year’s edition of the race. The team released a statement claiming the searches were designed to “intentionally damage the team’s reputation”. 

It said: “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 team won three stages at the 2021 Tour de France  and had their team hotel raided in Pau after stage 17.  

Today's statement read: “The house searches experienced today by members from Team Bahrain Victorious represent a continuation of the investigation process that began during the team’s successful performances at last year’s Tour de France. Bahrain Victorious were the only team in the Tour de France under investigation during the race last year. At no time, and so far, have the team been informed of the progress, results or received any feedback about the investigation from the Marseilles Prosecutor’s Office. Bahrain Victorious has repeatedly requested access to the file or acquaintance with the state of investigation but without success.” 

With the Tour de France due to begin in Denmark on Friday, the announcement of the searches will come as bad timing both for Bahrain Victorious and the race organisation [ASO]. 

The statement further added that Bahrain Victorious have “always cooperated completely transparently with all competent institutions and will continue to do so in the future".

It added they hoped for "a sense of the independence of investigators, as well as equal treatment of all teams”. 

Full Bahrain Victorious statement

“Some riders and staff of Team Bahrain Victorious had Police search their homes today before their departure to the Tour de France. 

Team Bahrain Victorious always works based on 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 experienced today by members from Team Bahrain Victorious represent a continuation of the investigation process that began during the team’s successful performances at last year’s Tour de France. Bahrain Victorious were the only team in the Tour de France under investigation during the race last year. At no time, and so far, have the team been informed of the progress, results or received any feedback about the investigation from the Marseilles Prosecutor’s Office. Bahrain Victorious has repeatedly requested access to the file or acquaintance with the state of investigation but without success.

Moreover, shortly 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. Still, this behaviour of the investigators casts doubt on the investigation’s credibility, given that information about the investigation by the French authorities comes to the media. In contrast, the team does not receive any feedback.

After almost a year of unsuccessful efforts by the team to obtain additional information,  the investigators decided on new investigations just days before the start of the most important cycling race, which undoubtedly casts a shadow of doubt on the purpose of the investigation. 

The team have always cooperated completely transparently with all competent institutions and will continue to do so in the future, with the hope of greater transparency and a sense of the independence of investigators, as well as equal treatment of all teams.”

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Tom Thewlis
Tom Thewlis

Tom is a Digital News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly. 


Before joining the Cycling Weekly team, he worked at Oxford Brookes University, most recently in the Internal Communications team. An avid cycling follower with a keen interest in racing, his writing previously featured on Casquettes and Bidons.