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French police investigate Paris Olympics chief over pay

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French investigators have opened a legal probe into the pay of Tony Estanguet, the head of the Paris Olympics organising committee, a source close to the case told AFP on Tuesday.

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French investigators have opened a legal probe into the pay of Tony Estanguet, the head of the Paris Olympics organising committee, a source close to the case told AFP on Tuesday.

The investigation by magistrates specialised in financial crimes began “last week” and will look into the manner in which Estanguet receives his pay as chief executive of the organising committee, the source said on condition of anonymity.


Estanguet is paid 270,000-euro ($290,000) per year pre-tax, with possible bonuses amounting to another 20 percent, according to the last publicly available figures for his salary.

According to a report in October last year from the investigative newspaper Le Canard Enchaine, Estanguet uses his own company to bill the organising committee monthly, instead of drawing a salary.

The arrangement is to avoid a salary cap imposed on charities with the same status as the organising committee.

News of the probe from the magistrates is an embarrassing development just as Estanguet is seeking to focus attention on preparations for the July 26-August 11 Games.

The triple gold medal-winning Olympic canoeist, 45, had so far been spared the legal problems that have embroiled other members of the Paris organising committee.

The Olympics have been repeatedly tarnished by corruption in the past, either over the manner in which the Games were awarded or through the lucrative construction and services contracts that are part of the event.

(AFP)

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