French Police Raid Paris 2024 Organizing Committee HQ in Corruption Probe

Опубликовано: 23 Июнь 2023

Olympic Games ParisEiffel Tower behind the olympic rings. (Photo: Rudy and Peter Skitterians, Pixabay, License)

French police raided the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee on Tuesday, as authorities widened their investigations into corruption related to next year’s Olympic and Paralympic games.

The Committee released a statement on Wednesday which did not specify the focus of the ongoing investigations, but declared that Paris 2024 was “cooperating actively with investigators to facilitate their enquiries and provide answers to all the questions raised as quickly as possible.”

According to local media, prosecutors have said that the raid is part of ongoing probes into possible irregularities in the process of awarding public procurement contracts involving the Committee and an entity created to manage and oversee infrastructure projects.

The French anti-corruption agency is concerned with risks of “conflicts of interest” and “breaches of integrity” in the process of awarding public contracts, as reported by Le Monde. The agency highlighted insufficient protective measures within the procedures and emphasized an alleged “risk of illegal conflicts of interest when employees move to the private sector.”

The other investigation centers around allegations of illegal conflicts of interest, misappropriation of public funds, favoritism, and complicity in favoritism. It targets multiple contracts that were awarded by various contracting authorities associated with the Olympics.

Corruption scandals surrounding major sports events have become a recurring issue. Recent examples of the last two Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio and Tokyo have shed light on the pervasive corruption within the realm of international sports.

In the case of Rio, allegations of bribery and embezzlement resulted, among other things, in the imprisonment of the head of the city infrastructure at the time who oversaw much of Rio’s Olympic efforts. In Tokyo, corruption in the planning and sponsorship of the international event resulted in the imprisonment of a former Olympics organizing committee official and three executives at advertising agencies.