Europol confirms raids on Bahrain Victorious at Tour de France related to 'the use of prohibited substances in cycling races'

Three people were interrogated as officials searched 14 locations in six countries

Europol Bahrain-Victorious
(Image credit: Europol)

Europol has revealed the raids on Bahrain-Victorious' hotel rooms at the Tour de France were part of an international operation that saw officials search locations across six countries in an ongoing investigation into "prohibited substances in cycling races".

The agency confirmed its official searched a total of 14 locations in six countries between June 27 and June 30.

Medicines and electronics were seized by Danish Police during the raids on Thursday morning, at the request of the French authorities. Europol also confirmed that the homes of staff members and riders were searched during the coordinated action. 

It said that three people were interrogated,.

"Law enforcement and judicial authorities in France, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia have carried out a coordinated action against the use of prohibited substances in cycling races," a Europol statement read.

"The investigation was led by the French OCLAESP (Central Office against Environmental and Public Health Crime) under the supervision of the French Public Prosecutor’s Office in Marseille to look into possible doping allegations of a cycling team participating in the Tour de France.

"Three people were interrogated. The investigation is ongoing and the evidence seized is being forensically examined. The properties of several riders and their staff were searched.

"An urgent coordination meeting was hosted by Eurojust on June 16 to facilitate judicial cooperation, including the execution of seven European Investigation Orders in the countries involved, and the preparation of the joint action."

A dozen Europol officers across the six countries were part of the investigation, helping to exchange information and forensically analyse the seized electronic devices. 

Several authorities were  involved in the operation in each country. They included the PPO (Public Prosecutors Office) and PSPE (Public Health and Environment Division) of Marseille; the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Judicial Police of Brussels; the Copenhagen Police.

Also working on the case were the Investigative Court, International Cooperation Section of the Prosecutor's Office and the Judicial Police Unit in Alicante; the County State Attorney’s Office in Rijeka, Croatia; the PPO Brescia and Carabinieri for the Protection of Public Health Units of Brescia, Roma and Ragusa in Italy; the Circuit Prosecutor’s Office and City Police in Łódź, Poland; and the Slovenian District Court and Police. 

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