Tour de France team Bahrain Victorious’ hotel hit by police raid just hours before final mountainous race stage following anonymous allegations of doping
- Police raided the Bahrain Victorious team hotel following accusations of doping
- The raid came hours before Thursday’s punishing final mountain stage
- It’s claimed up to 50 police officers descended on the hotel near Pau
- No arrests were made, with the team confirming they co-operated with police
Police raided the Bahrain Victorious team hotel as the Tour de France was engulfed by allegations of doping ahead of Thursday’s punishing final mountain stage.
Local prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation after riders’ rooms and the team bus were searched after Wednesday’s stage 17.
It’s claimed up to 50 police officers descended on the hotel near Pau, where they remained until around 2am Thursday morning.
No arrests were made, with the team confirming they provided copies of their riders’ training files to police.
Police raided the Bahrain Victorious team hotel on Thursday following accusations of doping
Anonymous doping accusations against Bahrain Victorious were reportedly made by rival team managers last month.
On Thursday, prosecutors in Marseille said investigators were looking into the possible ‘acquisition, transport, possession, import of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for use by an athlete without medical justification’.
They added: ‘The existence of this investigation and the operations carried out do not in any way predict the existence of criminal offences. Anyone suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent until proven guilty.’
Bahrain Victorious rider Matej Mohoric revealed: ‘They went through all my stuff and I said, “I have nothing to hide, I don’t care.” They went through all the phones, personal messages, they checked all our belongings all the buses, all the cars but of course they didn’t find anything.’
No arrests were made, with the team confirming they co-operated with police as Bahrain Victorious’ Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric (left) tackled the 18th stage on Thursday
Team-mate Sonny Colbrelli claimed police also analysed riders’ hair, adding: ‘These things are caused by jealousy… I didn’t sleep at all because I was so irritated. We don’t deserve this. In our world, if you ride strongly, they say you’re up to something.’
Bahrain Victorious technical director Vladimir Miholjevic said they ‘complied’ with police, but bemoaned how the raid disturbed their riders’ recovery ahead of Thursday’s 129.7km stage between Pau and Luz Ardiden, which was won by the all-conquering Tadej Pogacar, who cemented his grip on the yellow jersey in front of French president Emmanuel Macron, claiming the King of The Mountains’ polka dot jersey in the process.
Bahrain Victorious had been enjoying an impressive Tour – they lead the team classification, with Spanish rider Pello Bilbao ninth in the general classification and Colbrelli third in the battle for the green jersey, currently led by Mark Cavendish.