Published: Fri, October 06, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Brazilian Olympic chief arrested in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Olympic chief arrested in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian police yesterday arrested the chairman of the Brazilian Olympic Committee as part of a probe into alleged buying of votes to secure Rio de Janeiro's hosting of the Olympics a year ago.

Brazilian prosecutors alleged Nuzman spent more than $2 million to ensure the support of International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Lamine Diack ahead of the 2009 IOC session, in which Rio de Janeiro was awarded the right to host the 2016 Games ahead of Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo.

Carlos A. Nuzman has been under investigation as part of a probe into bribery allegations that surfaced after Brazil landed the 2016 games.

The revelations come after prosecutors from across the globe launched the so-called "Unfair Play" investigation last month.

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A source is in possession of emails that could corroborate the accusations, according to Brazilian justice officials.

The Rio 2016 committee's chief operating officer Leonardo Gryner was arrested in a separate raid.

The federal judge, who authorized Nuzman's arrest, said over the last decade Nuzman's net worth has increased by over 400 percent and he has assets overseas, including 16kg in gold bars deposited in Switzerland.

On September 5, Carlos Nuzman had been interrogated for several hours by the federal police who suspect him of having been "the central element" of a network of alleged corruption that allowed the city to obtain the olympics.

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Nuzman sits in the back of a police vehicle.

In a statement, the International Olympic Committee said it "takes note" of Nuzman's arrest and its chief ethics and compliance officer has asked the Brazilian authorities for more information so it can proceed with its own investigation.

Rio prosecutors say they have new information conclusively showing how the payments were made. Bach pledged the IOC's cooperation, but noted that there are limits to any sports organization's powers of investigation.

"(But) given the new facts, the International Olympic Committee ethics commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman's right to be heard", it said, before adding "the presumption of innocence prevails".

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The group "will not comment further on this matter until a recommendation is issued by the IOC Ethics Commission", and it "reiterates that the presumption of innocence prevails".

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