The first story appeared on Velonews.com.
A report from leparisien.fr has indicated that electronic devices and medicines have been seized by the authorities that raided the Bahrain Victorious team on the eve of the Tour de France.
A series of raids were carried out on Monday with staff and riders subject to home searches by Europol in several countries including Slovenia, Italy, and Spain.
Team leader Damiano Caruso confirmed on Thursday that his home had been raided.
On Thursday morning at 5:30 am the team’s hotel on the outskirts of Copenhagen was raided once more by the Danish police, at the request of the French authorities.
Following the hotel raids the Bahrain Victorious team has stated its innocence and that no materials were found or taken.
However, on Thursday evening a report in the French media indicated that medical products and computers had been seized. The news was quickly picked up by outlets in Belgium.
According to leparisien.fr the Marseille public prosecutor’s office, the body that started this investigation during last year’s Tour de France after they first raided the team’s hotel in Pau, specified that they had seized material in Italy, Spain, Belgium and Poland, Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark.
This material reportedly includes “electronic equipment (telephones, computers, hard drives) and medicines whose nature and origin are still unknown. All items seized will be further investigated and analyzed,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The report adds that the homes of a manager, three riders, the osteopath and a team doctor were searched.
Immediately after Thursday’s raids in Copenhagen the team released a statement in which they clearly stated that no equipment or medical products had been seized. The same claim was not made after the first round of searches on June 27.
“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 team said Thursday morning.
“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.”
On Thursday afternoon the team held its pre-race Tour de France press conference. The media were told several times that the riders and staff present would not comment or take questions relating to the ongoing investigation. VeloNews asked via Zoom how confident the team were that the convicts would not turn up any wrong-doing. The question was rebuffed.
“As we just said the guys won’t be answering any questions about the investigation. If you have any questions about the race, please go ahead,” a spokesperson for the team said.
VeloNews then asking how confident the team were that they would start the Tour.
Matej Mohorič, wearing a face mask as part of the protocols, appeared to laugh and show surprise before that question was also unanswered by the riders. Jack Haig simply said “you can answer that” in the direction of those with him.
“Look, we have no reason to doubt on that,” said performance manager Vladimir Miholjević.
Earlier in the week Miholjević had been far more forthcoming when it came to answers.
“We’re sleeping like babies and working like horses. We’re showing everything through our results and we are 100 percent transparent,” he told VeloNews after the first set of raids.
“Someone who is interested to see how we are working can join our team for a period of time and maybe these people will understand the effort that staff and riders are putting in their jobs to achieve their results.”
Europol were not available for comment on Thursday.
When contacted by VeloNews on Wednesday a spokesperson for the agency would only state that “the action is ongoing and there’s nothing that we can say.”