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Police search Bahrain Victorious riders' homes ahead of Tour de France

BRUSSELS -- Riders and staff from the Bahrain Victorious team had their homes searched by police before they left for the Tour de France, the cycling outfit said on Monday.

Bahrain Victorious said it felt the timing of the searches was "aimed at intentionally damaging the team's reputation."

The team was raided by French police during last year's Tour de France as part of a doping investigation. The Marseille prosecutor in charge of the case said at the time that a preliminary investigation was opened for acquisition, transport, possession, import of a substance or method prohibited for use by an athlete without medical justification.

That investigation did not yield any results, the team said, but "continues just before the start of the most important cycling race, the Tour de France, and damages the reputation of individuals and Team Bahrain Victorious."

Jack Haig and Damiano Caruso have been selected to lead Bahrain Victorious in the Tour which starts on Friday from Copenhagen.

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.