Belgian police raided homes of several riders and trainers from the Quick Step team this morning, seizing banned doping products.

The Belgian public prosecutor’s office confirmed the raids, involving around 40 police officers, took place at addresses across the country.

A spokesman for the public prosecutor, Tom Janssen, said: “According to first indications, banned products were seized.”

Earlier this year, the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws alleged there was a doping culture in the team which was allowed to continue undetected because the squad had a mole at the UCI who told them in advance when anti-doping tests were planned.

The team’s manager Patrick Lefevere denied the allegations and has sued the newspaper for more than 20million euros (around £12m).

When contacted by the Belga news agency for comment about the raids, Lefevere said: “I don’t know anything about this business. I can’t really say anything.”