PARIS – According to the French financial prosecutor’s office, French investigators raided the headquarters of the Paris Olympic organizers on Tuesday as part of an investigation into suspected corruption.
The Paris organizing committee said in a statement that a search was underway at its headquarters in the suburb of Saint-Denis and that “Paris 2024 is working with investigators to facilitate their investigations.” It would not comment further.
Paris is the third consecutive Summer Games organizer to become embroiled in an investigation by anti-corruption authorities in the French capital.
Allegations of vote-buying related to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics and Tokyo 2020 games had previously expelled several members of the International Olympic Committee from that organization.
An official with the Treasury Attorney’s Office said Tuesday the raids were related to two preliminary investigations related to the Paris Olympics that had not previously been made public. According to prosecutor’s office guidelines, the officer was not allowed to publicly reveal his name.
One of the investigations was launched in 2017 – the year Paris was chosen by the IOC to host 2024 – over suspicions of misappropriation of public funds and favoritism, as well as concerns about an unspecified deal the Paris organizers had struck, the said prosecutor with.
The other opened in 2022 following an audit by France’s anti-corruption agency. Prosecutors said the case raised suspicions of conflict of interest and favoritism in relation to several contracts concluded between the Organizing Committee and Solideo, the company responsible for the Olympic facilities.
The Paris Olympics are scheduled for July 26-August 26. 11. 2024.
The raids came at the same time as the IOC executive board began a two-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, at which it expected to commend the Paris organizers for their progress.
IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters early Monday that the meeting “will obviously be about Paris, where after the visit of the coordinating mission and after my visit to France we have some good news with President Macron and also with the organizing committee.”
The IOC said it expects to release a statement on the Paris raids on Tuesday ahead of a previously scheduled online press conference after the conclusion of its meeting.