BHP Billiton
A man walks out of the head office of BHP Billiton in central Melbourne. Reuters

Mining giant BHP Billiton has denied allegations that the company violated anti-corruption laws during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Anglo-Australian company also said that it is co-operating with "relevant authorities" during their probe into allegations that the company lavished hospitality on officials from China and other countries to gain a business advantage.

"We believe our Olympic activities complied with all applicable law," the world's biggest miner said.

"BHP Billiton is fully committed to operating with integrity and the group's policies specifically prohibit engaging in bribery in all its forms."

The response from the company came after a report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) which said the US and Australian authorities were looking into the miner's actions.

BHP, a sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, allegedly spent millions of dollars on a sponsorship package for over 170 VIPs, including a coterie of government officials.

The company had supplied material to make the 6,000 gold, silver and bronze medals during the Olympic Games.

Australian Federal Police earlier confirmed that they are investigating the matter, along with the US Justice Department.

The AFR report said that Australian officers reviewed documents filed in the US and discovered "suspicious transactions that had been recorded as legitimate business payments" by BHP Billiton.

Foreign bribery laws prohibit offering any benefit to a public official in order to gain business advantage.

The report noted that the company and several staff or consultants may face criminal charges or civil sanctions if the allegations are proven. The applicable laws in the case include Australian corporate and criminal laws as well as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the breach of which would result in penalties of 5 years' imprisonment and fines of up to $2m.