Brazilian Olympics chief arrested in bribery probe

Rio Olympics president arrested for allegedly bribing IOC officials to get 2016 Summer Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended Brazil Olympic Committee and its president, Carlos Nuzman, amid an investigation into a vote-buying scheme to bring the Rio Games previous year.

Police said he was being held in connection with crimes including corruption and money laundering.

Leonardo Gryner, director of operations for the Rio 2016 Committee, was also arrested, media reports said. Nuzman is also accused of bribing the son of Lamine Diack, former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations and a former IOC member from Senegal.

The ethics commission is chaired by former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and it can recommend action against individuals to the IOC's executive board. No charges have yet been laid.

Securing the games for Rio was just the first step in the massive scheme, according to Nuzman's arrest order. Brazil's Olympics head Carlos Nuzman has been arrested in Brazil for alleged bribery to win the bid for the 2016 Games.

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

Athletes may be affected indirectly, though, by the freezing of subsidies and payments.

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.

Frankie Fredericks, another International Olympic Committee member, has temporarily stepped down from his posts pending the results of those investigations. Prosecutors described him as Mr. Nuzman's "right-hand man".

Suspending Nuzman and removing him from Tokyo work was recommended on Thursday by Ban Ki-Moon, the former United Nations secretary general who the International Olympic Committee announced last month would chair its panel scrutinizing unethical conduct.

As well as suspending the COB, the IOC has also provisionally ended its relationship with Rio 2016's organising committee.

The IOC is conducting an internal investigation and said it will cooperate with Brazilian authorities.



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