Investigation in Bahrain, searches in eight countries: Nas at work in Italy

The investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Marseille began in 2021. Three riders, the team manager, an orthopedist and a doctor were questioned.

Some details of the international operation, which was coordinated by Europol, and centered on Team Bahrain Victorious, and Team World Tour consisting of Damiano Caruso and Matej Mauric, contenders in the Tour de France, have been revealed. The police from Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Poland and Slovenia intervened and carried out a series of searches between 27 and 30 June in the homes of three passengers and some employees (team manager, orthopedic doctor), according to what was reported by the Public Prosecutor of Marseille, who has been leading this investigation for a year.

Hotel searches

By the way, on Thursday morning at 5:30 in the morning, at the Scandic Glostrup hotel in Brondby, where the team was staying, there was an intense search by the Danish police. As for Italy, Nas Carabinieri intervened in Rome, Brescia and Ragusa. Europol, which coordinated the blitzkrieg with Eurojust, the national police and the judiciary, reported searches in the rooms and warehouses of cyclists and technical personnel at 14 locations in six countries: three people were questioned and the seized materials were handed over to laboratories for analyses. Europol does not name the athletes.

The process was directed by the Office of the Prosecutor of Marseille, which had already during the 2021 round put Bahrain Victorious Company under investigation with Euclas, the French structure that monitors attacks on public health. The offense is “purchasing, transporting, possessing and importing prohibited substances for sports use without a prescription.” The Public Prosecutor of Marseille reported that cell phones, computers, hard drives and medicines were seized, some of which needed prescriptions: all materials would be sent to laboratories for analysis. Europol then admitted that it had sent dozens of clients to the countries concerned “to facilitate the exchange of information and provide scientific support for the seized electronic devices”.

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