Paris Olympics offices raided by police in corruption investigation

20 June 2023, 11:08 | Updated: 20 June 2023, 11:26

Officers raided the Paris 2024 headquarters on Tuesday
Officers raided the Paris 2024 headquarters on Tuesday. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

The offices of the 2024 Olympic Games organisers in Paris have been raided by police as part of an investigation into suspected corruption.

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Police raided the Saint-Denis headquarters of the Paris 2024 organising committee in the north of the city on Tuesday.

Officers seized documents that they suspect show misappropriation of private funds, and contracts that may have been awarded to private companies based on "favouritism", according to Politico.

Officers also searched the offices of Solideo, the organisation that is overseeing the building of Olympic sites and venues in the city, and companies handed contracts by the organising committee.

Anti-corruption and financial crime investigators and the BRDE, the financial crime wing of the Paris police, led the raids.

The organising committee is headquartered in the Pulse building in the Saint-Denis area of northern Paris
The organising committee is headquartered in the Pulse building in the Saint-Denis area of northern Paris. Picture: Google Maps

This is the first set of raids carried out at the Paris Olympic committee.

But anti-corruption police published reports two years ago that suggested there were "risks affecting probity" of the games, and "conflicts of interests" that could affect the "whiter than whiter" image of the Olympics, France 24 reported.

Procurement procedures were "imprecise and incomplete", anti-corruption inspectors said, adding that there "exists sometimes potential situations of conflicts of interests which are not overseen correctly."

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A Paris 2024 spokesperson said: "A police search is currently under way at the headquarters of the Organising Committee.

"Paris 2024 is cooperating fully with the investigators to facilitate their investigations."

The Olympics are taking place in Paris next summer
The Olympics are taking place in Paris next summer. Picture: Alamy

The Olympics will be held from 26 July to 11 August next year, while the Paralympic Games taking place from 28 August to 6 September.

It comes as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) holds a meeting in Paris from Tuesday to Thursday.

The French National Olympic Committee - which oversees French participation in every Olympic Games, and is separate from the organising committee - was rocked by the resignation of its president Brigitte Henriques last month.

Several other French sporting bodies have also been hit by scandal recently.

The head of the French football federation, Noël Le Graet, resigned in February amid claims of sexual and psychological harassment.

Bernard Laporte. the head of the French rugby federation, also stepped down in January after being convicted of corruption. Mr Laporte is a former sports minister and coach of the national team.

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