Brazil Olympics chief arrested amid vote-buying scandal

Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman arrested

Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman arrested

According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, prosecutors allege that Nuzman secured $2 million from Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, a Miami businessman, to be paid to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack.

Nuzman and Gryner "will be charged with the crimes of corruption, money laundering and criminal association", police said in a statement.

Leonardo Gryner, a former director of the national Olympics committee, was also arrested in a new phase of the so-called Unfair Play investigation.

The head of Brazil's Olympic committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, has been arrested on vote buying allegations to win Rio's bid for the 2016 Games.

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Nuzman appeared relaxed and chatted with the agents as he entered the police station. According to prosecutors, last month, after Nuzman was questioned, he rectified his last income tax results to include 16 1-kg bars of gold, over $66,000 in euros and US$50,000, all deposited in Swiss banks.

Marcelo Bretas, the federal judge who issued the arrest warrant, said that new evidence indicated Nuzman's role in the alleged vote buying scheme was "more relevant" than previously believed.

At the time, he was detained and questioned and authorities confiscated his passport.

They said he was a central figure in channeling at least $2 million to Lamine Diack, a former International Olympic Committee member from Senegal who helped secure votes when Rio was picked in 2009 by the IOC.

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"The IOC's Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer has asked the Brazilian authorities for full information in order to proceed with the IOC's investigation, and has offered the IOC's full cooperation", the group said in a statement, but added later, "[The IOC] also reiterates that the presumption of innocence prevails". Tokyo eventually won the right to host in 2020 while the International Olympic Committee recently awarded the 2024 and 2028 editions to Paris and Los Angeles respectively.

The IOC is cooperating and is also proceeding with its own internal investigation.

"Given the new facts, the International Olympic Committee ethics commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr. Nuzman's right to be heard", said the statement, which did not offer more details.

The IOC investigation will be the first test of the newly elected members of the Ethics Commission including chair Ban Ki Moon.

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