PARIS — French investigators searched the headquarters of Paris Olympic organizers Tuesday in a probe into suspected corruption, according to the national financial prosecutor’s office.
The Paris organizing committee said in a statement that a search was under way at their headquarters in the suburb of Saint-Denis, and that “Paris 2024 is cooperating with the investigators to facilitate their investigations.” It would not comment further.
Paris becomes the third straight Summer Games organizer implicated in investigations led by anti-corruption authorities in the French capital.
Vote-buying allegations linked to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Games previously removed several members of the International Olympic Committee from that organization.
An official with the financial prosecutor’s office said Tuesday the searches are linked to two preliminary investigations related to the Paris Olympics that had not previously been made public. The official was not authorized to be publicly named according to prosecutor’s office policy.
One of the probes was opened in 2017 — the year Paris was picked by the IOC as the 2024 host — into suspected embezzlement of public funds and favoritism, 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 case targets suspected conflict of interest and favoritism 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 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.