International Olympic Committee suspends Rio 2016 chief Nuzman amid bribery probe

Florence Fletcher
October 7, 2017

Following an investigation dubbed "Unfair Play" that spanned several countries, Brazilian officials last month said Nuzman was the "lynchpin" in a plot to bribe the International Olympic Committee into awarding Rio de Janeiro last year's Games. IOC President Thomas Bach was asked at the time about Nuzman's role in the organization as an honorary member.

Nuzman, who also served as president of the Rio 2016 Committee, was detained in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro as part of an investigation into fraudulent activities linked to the Games, reports Efe.

"The IOC Executive Board (EB) has taken note and discussed the circumstances of the allegations against and the arrest of Carlos Nuzman, in particular concerning the vote for the host city of the Olympic Games by the IOC Session in 2009". The IOC said Brazil's athletes would not be affected, allowing them to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Investigators believe $2 million in bribes was paid to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese IOC member and former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, before the 2009 vote. The decision means subsidies and payments to the body from the International Olympic Committee have been blocked.

Rio beat bids from Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2016 Games.

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Leonardo Gryner, the Rio 2016 committee's chief operating officer, was also taken into custody, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.

Prosecutors say Nuzman's assets increased 457 percent over the past decade with no clear source for the new income. Police said in a statement that Carlos Nuzman, 75, was arrested on suspicion of corruption, money laundering and criminal association.

In June, former Rio governor Sergio Cabral was sentenced to 14 years in prison for bribery and money laundering related to the 2016 Games.

The gold is stored in a depository in Geneva.

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