Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said on Friday that the recent searches carried out as part of investigations by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) in the offices of the organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics are “never an easy time”. “It’s never an easy time for the teams,” she said before estimating that she had “confidence” in the control procedures to which the organizers are subject. On Tuesday, the headquarters of Solideo, the delivery company for JO works, and that of the organizing committee (Cojo) were searched as part of investigations conducted by the PNF for alleged facts, among other things, of taking illegal interest or favoritism. Justice is interested in certain contracts awarded within the framework of these Olympic Games.
Robust internal procedures, assures Estanguet
The homes of Etienne Thobois and Edouard Donnelly, two senior officials of the Organizing Committee, were also searched on Tuesday, AFP learned on Friday from a judicial source, confirming information from France TV. After having been service providers for the Olympic Games, Etienne Thobois and Edouard Donnelly became the first general manager of the Cojo in early 2018 and the second executive director of operations of the Cojo last November, arousing suspicions of conflicts of interest.
“I remind you that there is a whole series of procedures, controls, very thorough, very regular (…) there is an ethics committee, an audit committee, internal audits of external audits, we is surrounded by solid, robust procedures”, estimated the minister after the presentation of the route of the Olympic flame at the Sorbonne. “Now everyone must do their job, the investigation services of the judicial police will do it, but the teams of the Cojo de la Solideo must be able to continue to work calmly to deliver the Games”, she commented.
The boss of the organizing committee Tony Estanguet also insisted on the robustness, according to him, of the internal control procedures. “We have an ethics committee (…) chaired by Jean Marc Sauvé who was at the head of the Council of State for many years”, he recalled. “We continue to move forward with serenity, we are collaborating with all these control bodies, in particular with the magistrates of the Court of Auditors, who (us) have already checked five times over the past five years”, he said. he says.