The scene is now usual in cycling, but it is the first of this edition. Bahrain Victorious, at the top of the team classification in the Tour de France, was entitled to a visit from the gendarmerie before the 18the step. A search was indeed carried out during the night of Wednesday to Thursday July 15 by the Central Office for the fight against attacks on the environment and public health (Oclaesp) in the hotel of the team, located in Pau .
The cycling team confirmed the information in a statement, indicating that they were not informed of the reasons for the search. “The investigation led to searches of the runners’ rooms” and documents were provided by management, the statement said.
→ INVESTIGATION. Cycling and doping, the return of suspicion
A preliminary investigation has been opened “Counts of acquisition, transport, possession, importation of a prohibited substance or method for the purpose of use by an athlete without medical justification”, said the Marseille prosecutor’s office. “The preliminary investigation is continuing in order to determine the reality or not of the offenses which justified its opening. “
Several successes to the credit of the team
Bahrain Victorious has won two stage victories on the Grande Boucle: the Slovenian champion Matej Mohoric won in the 7e stage on July 2 at Le Creusot and his Belgian teammate Dylan Teuns followed suit the next day in the 8e stopover at Grand-Bornand. Their teammate Sonny Colbrelli, Italian champion with a sprinter profile, was illustrated during the 9e high mountain stage in Tignes, taking third place ahead of many climbers.
→ THE ROUTE. Find the map of the 2021 Tour de France stages
Another Bahrain Victorious rider, the Ukrainian Mark Padun, surprised by winning the last two stages of the Dauphiné, in the mountains, at the beginning of June. The team also shone on the Giro, where Italian Damiano Caruso took second place at the end of May.
Bahrain is one of nine teams participating in the Tour that are not part of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), launched in 2007 on a voluntary basis. The MPCC, at the forefront of anti-doping, asks its members to respect stricter rules than those in force.
The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated the fight against doping and reduced the number of controls but the UCI (International Cycling Union), assured in early June that out-of-competition controls “Had returned to normal levels”.