Brazilian Police Arrest Rio 2016 Olympic Committee Chairman

Randall Craig
October 6, 2017

The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee has been arrested amid an investigation into a vote-buying scheme to bring the Games to Rio de Janeiro previous year. The two are being charged with corruption and money-laundering in what is being called Operation Unfair Play.

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. Headquarters of the committee were also searched. His passport had been confiscated. He also accused the former volleyball player of failing to declare assets until after the so-called Unfair Play investigation began.

Authorities allege that former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, who is serving a 14-year prison term for bribery and money laundering, was the mastermind of the plot, which saw $2 million in bribes paid to the son of Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack before the 2009 vote in which Rio beat Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to win the 2016 Games.

Nuzman - the chief of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, or ComitĂȘ OlĂ­mpico do Brasil - is suspected of bribing worldwide Olympic officials in exchange for votes to secure Rio's 2016 games.

Nuzman sits in the back of a police auto.

Nuzman's attorney characterized the arrest as "harsh and unusual", according ot the G1 news portal. Among the hidden assets were 16 kilos of gold in a Swiss bank, he said.

In addition to the current evidence against him, Nuzman also appeared to respond to the September allegations with freakish financial behavior, namely amending his income tax information to suddenly reveal a 457 percent growth in his total assets, including the possession of 16 kilogram-sized gold bars stored in a lockbox in Switzerland.

The findings came after a new phase of the "Unfair Play" investigation, arranged by Brazilian and French authorities, which reportedly uncovered an worldwide corruption scheme created to buy votes.

IOC President Thomas Bach was asked at the time about Nuzman's role in the organization as an honorary member.

Ethics Commission Launches Investigation An IOC spokesperson said in a statement that its Ethics Commission had already started an investigation into Nuzman and "may consider provisional measures", in the wake of his arrest.

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". It's alleged Carlos Nuzman was involved in a vote-buying scheme.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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