A security official stands at the entrance of the Paris 2024 headquarters following today's raid ©Getty Images

Police have dramatically raided the Paris 2024 headquarters, just over a year before the start of the next Summer Olympic Games.

The reason for the raid at the premises in Saint-Denis is not immediately clear although French newspaper Le Monde reported that it was due to "suspicions of irregularity on public contracts".

Another French newspaper, L'Equipe, reported that searches were carried out at the Paris 2024 Organising Committee headquarters and at Solideo - the company responsible for Paris 2024 building works.

Other locations are also believed to be subject to searches.

Paris 2024 confirmed in a statement that it was cooperating with investigators on their enquiries and would provide answers to all the questions raised "as quickly as possible."

The Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Tax (OCLCIFF) and the Financial Brigade of the Paris Judicial Police (BRDE) are said to have carried out the raids.

They acted after two preliminary investigations were opened by the National Financial Prosecutor's Office, it has been reported.

The first was launched in 2017 and handed to OCLCIFF for alleged embezzlement of public funds and favouritism over a Paris 2024 contract. 

The raid at the Paris 2024 headquarters was part of a corruption probe  ©Getty Images
The raid at the Paris 2024 headquarters was part of a corruption probe ©Getty Images

In 2022, the second investigation was entrusted to the BRIDE involving contracts involving Paris 2024 and Solideo following an inspection by the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA).

Two reports by the AFA on the organisation of the Olympics in April 2021 had pointed to "risks of breaches of probity" and "conflicts of interest".

Paris 2024 confirmed that a search was underway at the headquarters of the Organising Committee shortly after the raids were launched.

In a later statement, they said: "Paris 2024 is cooperating actively with investigators to facilitate their enquiries and provide answers to all the questions raised as quickly as possible.

"To ensure the transparency and propriety of the several hundred contracts it has awarded, Paris 2024 has adopted stringent procedures, and has set up an Ethics Committee together with an Audit Committee to supervise its activities.

"Paris 2024 is also certainly one of the most audited organisations in France. 

"The audit conducted by the French Anti-Corruption Agency and five audits by the Cour des Comptes, in addition to the continued monitoring of our governance structures, have not raised the slightest wrongdoing.

"Throughout these audits and ongoing monitoring, Paris 2024 has demonstrated the effectiveness of the stringent procedures that it has continued to implement in collaboration with auditing and regulatory bodies."

Christophe Dubi said transparency and cooperation would be important ©Getty Images
Christophe Dubi said transparency and cooperation would be important ©Getty Images

The raid comes with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting today and tomorrow.

"We are aware that there has been a search by police of the Paris 2024 headquarters today," an IOC spokesperson said.

"We have been informed by Paris 2024 that they are cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter and we would refer you to them for further information."

During a media conference following the first day of the IOC Executive Board meeting, Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said: "In situations like this, there is only one attitude that can apply and that is the one communicated by Paris 2024 - transparency and cooperation.

"They are the two watch words in the context such as this one, which was very tense and it was a very difficult day.

"When the Organising Committee commits to following certain principles, there is only one thing we can do and that is to wait for the result of this inquiry that will be launched."

The IOC has already dealt with corruption crises at the last two Summer Olympics - Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.