Danes search Bahrain Victorious riders’ hotel ahead of Tour
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Bahrain Victorious team at the Tour de France was raided by police for the second time this week on Thursday, a day before the tour’s grand start in Denmark.
The team confirmed in a statement that the hotel rooms and vehicles of riders and staff in suburban Copenhagen were searched by Danish officers, and they “fully cooperated with all the officers’ requests, and the search was completed within two hours. No items were seized from the team.”
Danish police acted at the request of French prosecutors, Copenhagen police spokesman Dannie Rise said in a statement, referring further questions to the French police.
Hotel manager Jeroen Bishop told Danish media police arrived shortly before 6 a.m. local time (0400 GMT), that there were uniformed and plainclothes officers, and ”all went quietly and calmly.”
Bahrain Victorious performance manager Vladimir Miholjevic said later at a news conference that no more information was available for now.
“We’d like to have more details from the investigation, only so that we can be able to understand such action,” Miholjevic said. “In this moment the team is fully focused on the big race in front of us and achieving our sports goals.”
On Monday, riders and staff from Bahrain Victorious had their homes searched by police before they left for the Tour de France. The team said it felt the timing of the searches was “aimed at intentionally damaging the team’s reputation.”
Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso have been selected to lead Bahrain Victorious. The team also includes Jan Tratnik, Kamil Gradek, Fred Wright and Luis Leon Sanchez, as well as 2021 stage winners Matej Mohorič and Dylan Teuns.
The team also was raided by French police during last year’s Tour as part of a doping investigation. It yielded nothing.
The Tour begins in Copenhagen on Friday with an individual time trial and two more stages in Denmark, including crossing the Great Belt Bridge that links the Zealand island where Copenhagen sits and the central isle of Funen. The stage could be potentially very windy.
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