French authorities have conducted searches at the headquarters of the organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as part of two corruption investigations. The raids are believed to be related to the awarding of contracts. For construction projects associated with the upcoming summer games.
The Paris 2024 organizing committee has stated that it is fully cooperating with the investigators. Anti-corruption officials arrived unexpectedly at the committee’s headquarters in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. As well as at the offices of Solideo, the public body responsible for the games’ construction projects.
The searches are being carried out at multiple locations involving both organizations. According to the PNF, the French judicial organization is responsible for combating financial crimes. The 2024 Paris Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, followed by the Paralympics in September.
These police raids are the latest development in a series of incidents. Those have impacted France’s Olympic movement and sports in general in recent months. In May, Brigitte Henriques, the President of France’s National Olympic Committee, unexpectedly resigned amid reports of internal conflicts within the organization.
The reasons for her departure were not disclosed. Additionally, earlier in the year, the heads of France’s football and rugby federations stepped down following highly publicized scandals.
Paris organizers declined to comment.
One of the probes was opened in 2017 — the year Paris was picked by the IOC as the 2024 host. Moreover, into suspected embezzlement of public funds and favouritism. And concerns about an unspecified contract reached by Paris organizers, the prosecutor’s office said.
The other was opened in 2022 following an audit by the French Anti-corruption Agency. The prosecutor’s office said that the case targets suspected conflict of interest and favouritism involving several contracts reached by the organizing committee and Solideo, the company in charge of Olympic facilities.
The Paris Olympics are scheduled for July 26-Aug. 11, 2024.
The raids unfolded at the same time as the IOC executive board began a two-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Expecting to praise Paris organizers for their progress.
IOC president Thomas Bach told reporters early Monday that the meeting “of course will be about Paris. Where we have some good news after the visit of the coordination mission and after my visit to France, to President Macron, and also the organizing committee.”
The IOC said it expected to release a statement Tuesday about the raids in Paris ahead of a previously scheduled online news briefing once its meeting closed for the day.