The Olympic Games bidding process has a bit of a history with ethics issues, which have resulted over the years in a number of modifications to the bidding process itself. Acutely aware of this history, French President Emmanuel Macron instructed his ministers that it was essential that the country not become embroiled in a corruption scandal. Their goal, he said, should be to “welcome the world in the best possible conditions of safety, organization, social and ecological responsibility.”
Nonetheless, French criminal police and public prosecutors recently raided several sites linked to the Paris 2024 games, including the organizing committee’s main office in the French capital, SOLIDEO (a public body responsible for the event’s construction and infrastructure) and several private companies awarded public contracts by SOLIDEO. It should be noted that the Paris 2024 office fully cooperated with the investigators, who collected financial documents.
According to CNN, there are two preliminary police investigations involving alleged financial improprieties over contracts and public funds. One investigation dates back to 2017 (when the city was awarded the Games), looking into concerns such as embezzlement of public funds, conflicts of interest, favoritism and concealment of favoritism regarding lucrative contracts awarded by the 2024 committee. Following up on a 2021 French anti-corruption agency warning, the second investigation started in 2022 by a French police financial unit continues along the same financial lines, looking into the relationship between the Paris 2024 Committee and SOLIDEO. Along with concerns over alleged conflicts of interest within the Paris Olympics Committee and Solideo, the report cited imprecise or incomplete procedures that were not sufficiently respected and monitored.
The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will run from July 26 to August 11. The Paralympic Games will be from August 28 to September 8.