The business of the Olympics is big money. The politics, even bigger.
Los Angeles is trying to prove to the world the city is ready to host the 2024 games. Paris may be LA's biggest competition. And now the French are playing a few games of their own. It appears there's a rooster in the henhouse.
"I will call the police right now."
NBC4 cameras caught members of the French Consulate scouting proposed Olympic venues at UCLA Thursday morning. They apparently wanted to see for themselves what LA is up to. NBC News confirmed they toured Pauley Pavilion.
Then leaders from the Paris 2024 bid were supposed to join them. But after seeing NBC4 cameras ...
"What are you doing?" said a French Consulate rep.
And the rest of the tour was abruptly canceled. The LA24 committee was mystified by their unexpected visitors.
"The Paris leaders' visit to our city today certainly comes as a surprise but we really have no objection to their visit," said Janet Evans, Olympian and LA24 bid committee member.
NBC4 confirmed that the group from Paris was at USC Wednesday, taking pictures and video while investigating the Coliseum and several other venues.
Evans said LA24 has nothing to worry about.
"Our facilities that we would use if we're honored to host the 2024 Olympic Games are world class," she said. "They're amazing venues and when the world comes to Los Angeles in 2024 we'll be ready to host the world's best athletes."
While it appears there is no rule violated by the French, on its website the International Olympic Committee states, "The cities must refrain from any act or comment likely to tarnish the image of a rival city or be prejudicial to it."
So far, no further comment the French Consulate or the bid committee.