French police have searched the 2024 Paris Olympic Games organizers’ headquarters as part of an investigation into corruption over contracts.
According to multiple news outlets, the organizing committee, acknowledged a search was underway in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, and that it was cooperating with officials. Another raid was reported to be taking place at SOLIDEO, the public body responsible for delivering the Games.
Searches are being carried out across several locations related to the two bodies, the French financial body investigating confirmed.
Reuters reported prosecutors saying the raids were related to alleged embezzlement of public funds and favoritism.
The AP quoted an unnamed source with the financial prosecutor’s office who said the searches and “other related raids” were linked to preliminary investigations that hadn’t been made public. One dates back to 2017 — the year Paris was awarded the 2024 Games — and another last year.
The Games are set to take place between July 24-August 11, 2024, followed by the Paralympics.
In the U.S., NBC has rights to the Olympic Games until 2032 under terms of its current contract. Though illegal activity has never resulted in a Games being cancelled or postponed, today’s development will be worrying to sports broadcast executives around the world.
The Olympics have been dogged by corruption allegations over many years, with many accusations relating to hosts are selected and the award of construction, sponsorship and services contracts. Several IOC members were removed after accusations of vote buying for the 2016 and 2021 Games.