With the 2024 games in Paris only months away, questions have arisen about how the chief organiser is being paid.
Paris Olympics chief organiser Tony Estanguet is having his pay investigated six months before the Games begin.
It follows a newspaper report that Estanguet uses his own company to bill the organising committee monthly, instead of drawing a salary.
Estanguet has said he “doesn’t decide his remuneration or its structure”.
The Paris Olympics organising committee has expressed surprise at the news, saying they have not been contacted by investigators and could not confirm a probe is ongoing
As president, Estanguet does not have an employee statute within the organising committee and invoices his services on a monthly basis.
The 2024 games’ organising committee set his annual pay at €270,000 gross in 2018 at the end of its first board meeting. It was agreed that the former three-time Olympic canoe champion would receive possible extra incentives based on performance criteria that would not exceed 20% of his annual salary.
Organisers told reporters on Tuesday that Estanguet’s pay – which has not risen since 2018 – is not capped by French law, and that his income was set with the advice of a committee “made up of independent experts whose role is to ensure the appropriateness of our remuneration policy.”
The organisers also said Estanguet’s payment terms were approved by France’s General Economic and Financial Control body, following consultation with the main body involved in the collection and distribution of social security contributions.
“All invoices connected to this remuneration are subject to an annual audit by the organising committee’s independent internal audit unit as well as an inspection by the remuneration committee,” games organisers said.
“These measures are not legally imposed but correspond to an approach of voluntary transparency. In keeping with the approach we have always taken towards all oversight bodies, Paris 2024 is ready to answer questions regarding its management.”
The probe into Estanguet’s pay follows other investigations by financial prosecutors targeting the Games organising committee.
In October, the organisers said their headquarters were again visited by French financial prosecutors investigating suspicions of favoritism, conflicts of interest and misuse of funds in the awarding of contracts.
The headquarters were first searched in June.
Financial investigators have been zeroing in on 20 or so of the many hundreds of business contracts that Olympic organisers have signed as they race to prepare the French capital for 10,500 athletes and millions of spectators.