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LES HERBIERS, France (AFP) – Quick Step sporting director Wilfried Peeters said Friday his team had nothing to worry about despite their bus being given a thorough search by police on the eve of the Tour de France.
French police seized the bus at their hotel in Challans and took it away to nearby La-Roche-sur-Yon for a “thorough search for drugs”, according to a police spokesman.
Peeters, a former professional racer, attempted to calm fears when he emerged from the police station.
“Everything is OK,” said Peeters.
“We’ve been told it is simply a routine control for the Tour de France and that this could happen to any team bus during the race.”
The central Paris bureau of gendarmes later indicated the aim of the operation had been been to carry out a “thorough search” as part of a wider scheme to fight doping.
Paris police said the search had been done with the co-operation of the National Centre for the Fight Against Threats to the Environment and Public Health (OCLAESP), which along with customs officials is playing a role in trying to deter cheats at the race.
Police gave no indication whether any drugs were found on the bus.
Quick Step’s press spokesman Alessandro Tegner later explained the incident.
He told AFP: “After the press conference in the early afternoon the team had their lunch nearby and and left in the team bus.
“They got to the hotel about 1600 and, as usual, had their massages. About 1700 or 1730 some gendarmes arrived at the hotel and took the bus away to La Roche-sur-Yon.”