Bahrain Victorious have confirmed that their team hotel in Copenhagen was searched by Danish police on behalf of French prosecutors at 5:30am on Thursday, the day before the Tour de France begins.
It follows riders and staff members having had their homes searched by police prior to their departure for the Tour, which was announced on Monday. Those searches formed part of an investigation that got underway in the wake of the team’s success at last year’s edition of the race
In a strongly worded but brief statement, Bahrain Victorious said that nothing was taken from them in the search of the hotel and the team's vehicles. Riders and staff were subject to the investigation.
"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 am," the statement said.
"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."
The Danish news outlet Ekstrabladet (opens in new tab) was at the team's hotel in Glostrup, just outside Copenhagen, and has images showing the team standing around in the hotel car park while the search was carried out.
They also quoted Copenhagen Police Inspector Dannie Rise, who confirmed the search. "On the basis of a court request from the French police, as part of an ongoing investigation in France, the Copenhagen Police have conducted a search of the hotel in Brøndby," he said. "As this is an investigation being carried out by French police, we must refer to them for further comments."
Following the searches earlier this week across Europe, conducted by Europol, Bahrain Victorious said that they believe the "the timing of this investigation is aimed at intentionally damaging the team’s reputation".
The team were present at the Tour team presentation on Wednesday evening in Copenhagen, and will line up for the opening time trial on Friday afternoon.
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