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(Photo courtesy of Michel Euler | AP)

Financial investigators continue probe into Paris Olympics organizers

The headquarters of the Paris Olympics organizers have reportedly been searched a second time by French financial prosecutors, under suspicions of misuse of funds and favoritism in awarding contracts. They were first searched in June.

The organizing committee stated on Thursday that it was “cooperating fully with the investigation, as it has always done” and gave the prosecutors all requested information.

Probes into financial mismanagement of the Paris Olympics have existed since 2017, when the city was picked to host the 2024 games.

Chief financial prosecutor Jean-Francois Bohnert told RTL radio last month that the investigation had turned up little serious corruption.

“It’s about favoritism, of illegal interest-taking,” Bohnert said. “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.”

Organizing committee president Tony Estanguet spoke to the Associated Press in defense of his colleagues after the June headquarters search, which was also paired with searches of the homes of several committee members.

“I am cooperating. There will surely be other stages. We’ll surely have to reply to more questions,” Estanguet said in the interview. “There will be more checks right up to the end, perhaps even after the Games. So I am ready for that and I know that it is part of this kind of adventure. We’ll be inspected intensely, criticized hugely.”

He further insisted that the Paris Olympics would not be marred by the same level of financial mismanagement seen at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 or Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


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