Three months after French police raided the Paris Olympic Organizing Committee’s offices, the country’s top financial prosecutor said investigations into the preparations for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics have not uncovered significant corruption and called the probe “mainly formal.”
“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,” Jean Francois-Bohnert said this week on an interview with the French radio network RTL.
He said the investigation is to see whether there has been “favoritism of illegal interest taking” in how some contracts were awarded by Paris 2024.
Paris 2024 organizers have been the target of two investigations; one opened in 2017 and another this year. While not much has been said publicly about the probes, authorities have indicated that they also involve possible misuse of public funds. Both investigations are believed to be continuing. Police also raided the offices of Solideo, the public entity that is building Olympic venues in and around Paris.
“We are probably the most controlled entity in France for sure and in the world, maybe right now, which … I would say is normal and part of the Games,” Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois said during a meeting with a small group of reporters. “There is an inquiry going on and investigations. We are responding to the authorities. We are very open.
“We have put very strict procedures in place,” Thobois continued. “We trust the team and so we’re confident that the outcome will be okay. We take it as a function of all kinds of challenges coming in, we take it as something that needs to be managed, and we manage it in the best possible way … collaborating with the authorities, respecting the job they’re doing.”