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French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into doping allegations against Bahrain-Victorious after their team hotel was searched.

Riders’ rooms and the team bus were searched on Wednesday at the Tour de France but no arrests were made.

The Bahrain-based team confirmed they had provided copies of their riders’ training files to police.

The team’s technical director Vladimir Miholjevic said they had “complied with all the officers’ requests”.

He added the team were committed to adhering to “all regulatory requirements”.

The prosecutor’s office in Marseille said the investigation was into the possible “acquisition, transport, possession, import of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for use by an athlete without medical justification”.

“The preliminary investigation is continuing to determine the reality or not of the offenses that justified its initiation,” added the prosecutor office’s statement.

“The existence of this investigation and the operations carried out do not in any way predict the existence of criminal offenses. Anyone suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Miholjevic said the situation had disturbed his riders’ recovery for stage 18 on Thursday, the 129.7km-route from Pau to Luz Ardiden, which is the final mountain stage and arguably the most punishing day of this year’s race.

Bahrain-Victorious have enjoyed a successful Tour so far, despite the loss of their main general classification hope Jack Haig in a crash on stage three.

Spanish all-rounder Pello Bilbao is currently 10th in the general classification of the race, while they have also claimed two stage victories, with Matej Mohoric winning stage seven and Dylan Teuns taking stage eight.

Dutch climber Wout Poels has also starred at the Tour and currently leads the King of the Mountains competition, while Italian sprinter Sonny Colbrelli, twice in the top three on mountain stages, sits third in the points classification.

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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