Cycling team Bahrain Victorious have confirmed in a statement that police investigators searched the homes of some of the riders and staff before they left for the 2022 Tour de France.
The investigation, which is being conducted by the Marseilles Prosecutor’s Office, began a year ago after the 17th stage of the 2021 Tour de France.
At the time the investigation office said
that it was an investigation into "acquisition, transport, possession, import of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for use by an athlete without medical justification."
Exclusive: Colbrelli delighted to receive Eriksen's support after cardiac arrest
18/11/2022 AT 13:38
In a statement, the team said that they have not “been informed of the progress, results or received any feedback about the investigation,” adding that they have requested access to information but none has been forthcoming.
They also said that "due to recent investigations, the team feels the timing of this investigation is aimed at intentionally damaging the team’s reputation,” adding that the “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.”
Bahrain Victorious statement in full
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.
'I still need to wait' – Roglic reveals recovery time before return
11/11/2022 AT 11:37
‘A risk I cannot afford to take’ – Colbrelli announces retirement after defibrillator fitting
30/10/2022 AT 10:53