Quick Step bus searched by police at Tour
LA-ROCHE-SUR-YON, France (AP) – Police seized the Quick Step cycling team’s bus for checks on the eve of the Tour de France for several hours before letting it leave.
The bus was seized at the team hotel in the afternoon and was taken to a police station in La Roche-sur-Yon, about 30 miles away, before being allowed to leave in the evening.
“It was a routine control,” said Quick Step spokesman Alessandro Tegner. “Maybe next week it’s another team. Everything is all right.”
A police officer told The Associated Press the operation was coordinated by local authorities.
“We are supervising the operation, we are checking things,” said the official, who requested anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly to the press.
He refused to say whether they were looking for banned substances.
Judicial officials at the Les Sables d’Olonne court were not immediately available for comments.
A police unit specialized in the fight against doping took part in the operation. The agency has been involved in a French investigation of syringes and transfusion equipment found in a trash container after the 2009 Tour. The material belonged to the Astana cycling team.
The Quick Step team includes French champion Sylvain Chavanel and sprinting ace Tom Boonen of Belgium.
The Tour starts today in the Vendee western region of France.