Bahrain Victorious racer Dylan Teuns has said he would like "nothing more" than to provide clarity about the ongoing police investigation into his team but insists that he has to focus on his job.
A winner of a Tour de France stage in 2021 and also in 2019, as well as La Flèche Wallonne earlier this year, Teuns is currently taking part in the 2022 Tour.
Teuns' home was reportedly searched by police Monday in Belgium, as part of the broader investigation into the Bahrain Victorious squad, including a raid of the team hotel by Danish law enforcement two days before the Tour de France start in Copenhagen.
Earlier this week, police searches were carried out on the homes of riders and staff in Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovenia earlier this week. Another Bahrain Victorious rider at the Tour de France, 2021 Giro d'Italia runner-up Damiano Caruso, has said he has had his home searched.
Writing in his daily column in the Belgian Het Belang van Limburg newspaper, Teuns expressed fears that "things are being taken out of context and things could escalate, just at a time when I have to focus on my job."
Tour riders and staff have maintained a strict no-comment policy on the investigation while in Denmark, in marked contrast to their much more communicative attitude following a police raid in Pau, France during last year's Tour.
In his column for Het Belang van Limburg, Teuns wrote, "Anyone who knows me knows that I want nothing more than to provide clarity. I won't do that this time though. This investigation has been going on for a year now. Last year, after a raid by the French police [in Pau] I had to hand over my laptop and mobile phone. Well, I never got it back.
"And I'm afraid things are being taken out of context and things could escalate. Just at a time when I have to focus on my job.”
Meanwhile Teuns personal management have insisted that the Belgian rider has nothing to hide after recent police raids on the team hotel in Denmark, and have issued a scathing criticism of alleged French media hype over the ongoing investigation.
"At the start of the Tour, the sacred legal principal governing the secrecy of judicial enquiries has been sacrificed on the altar of French sensationalism. It is curious that the Marseille public prosecutor's office should reveal names and places of investigations during a press briefing on Thursday," the statement ran.
"The team and Dylan Teuns have always cooperated fully and kept silence in the best interest of the investigation.
"Contrary to certain claims and implications in certain media, nothing belonging to Dylan Teuns was seized during the raid in Denmark.
"We and Dylan will continue to collaborate, given the innocence of our rider, but we are hoping for more discretion."
The statement ended by saying that what it called the "harmful operation" - presumably a reference to the French media sensationalism to which it had referred earlier - was affecting contract negotiations and risked causing "irreparable damages".
So far neither the UCI nor Tour de France organisers ASO have made any kind of official statement regarding the events involving Bahrain Victorious. The team itself issued a statement saying that after the "police search", " the team is now looking forward to focusing on the world’s biggest and best cycling race, Tour de France."
Teuns is due to start racing later today in the Tour de France, at 18:25 local time.
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