Financial investigators probing suspected contracts descend again on HQ of Paris Olympic organizers


PARIS (AP) — Organizers of next year’s Paris Olympics said their headquarters have again been visited by French financial prosecutors who are investigating suspicions of favoritism, conflicts of interest and misuse of funds in the awarding of contracts.

The Paris organizing committee said Thursday in a short statement that the national financial prosecution service visited its north Paris offices on Wednesday “and obtained all the information it requested.”

“Paris 2024 is cooperating fully with the investigation, as it has always done,” the statement said.

The headquarters were first searched in June.

Financial investigators have been zeroing in on 20 or so of the many hundreds of business contracts that Olympic organizers have signed as they race to prepare the French capital for 10,500 athletes and millions of spectators.

In an Associated Press interview, Paris organizing committee president Tony Estanguet previously vigorously defended colleagues whose homes also have been searched.

Estanguet insisted that the two financial probes of Paris Games contract awards bear no comparison with corruption and ethics scandals that have for decades dogged the Olympic movement and its biggest event, including the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the bribery-plagued 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Last month, the chief financial prosecutor said their probes have not revealed any serious corruption or influence peddling and that any potential infractions are “mainly formal.”

“It’s about favoritism, of illegal interest-taking,” the prosecutor, Jean-Francois Bohnert, told RTL radio. “It’s about the way certain contracts have been distributed, the arrangements … But I don’t see any elements, at least not at this stage, that would lead the investigation towards the most serious cases of corruption or influence peddling.”


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