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Brazil Olympics chief arrested amid vote-buying scandal

06 October 2017

The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee was arrested on Thursday amid an investigation into a vote-buying scheme to bring the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.

Carlos A. Nuzman has been under investigation as part of a probe into bribery allegations that surfaced after Brazil landed the 2016 games. This operation with the participation of representatives from the French police and justice, including the famous judge anti-corruption Renaud Van Ruymbeke.

"The accusation of vote-buying for the 2016 Olympics is unfounded", Nelio Machado, a lawyer for Nuzman, told reporters.

Brazilian police on Thursday arrested the head of the country's national Olympic committee.

In addition to the current evidence against him, Nuzman also appeared to respond to the September allegations with weird 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.

He only declared he owned 16 gold bars weighing one kilogram (2.2 pounds) each when he was questioned a month ago, prosecutors said.

Nuzman's home was raided last month and documents taken into police control.

Nuzman appeared relaxed and chatted with the agents as he entered the police station.

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They believe Nuzman was an intermediary in a payment in 2009 to Lamine Diack, who was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) during the selection process.

Soares, known as "King Arthur", is accused of paying Cabral enormous bribes as a result of fraudulent construction contracts in the city. Rio beat bids from Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2016 games. Now, however, O Globo reports that prosecutors can cite several emails between Nuzman, Gryner, and the younger Diack that appear to confirm their agreement to trade the money for the vote. "It is a hard and unusual measure in due process".

Rio 2016 was credited with being a sporting and organizational success, but revelations of massive corruption during the preparations and now even in the awarding of the Games have tarnished the legacy.

Diack's International Olympic Committee membership was provisionally suspended a week after his arrest in France in November 2015 and he resigned the following day.

"(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".

"Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr. Nuzman's right to be heard", the IOC said, without detailing the measures.

The IOC will not comment further on this matter until a recommendation is issued by the IOC Ethics Commission.

Brazil Olympics chief arrested amid vote-buying scandal