Brazil’s former Olympic director sentenced to prison for corruption

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SAO PAULO (AP) – Carlos Arthur Nuzman, head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee for more than two decades, was sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in prison for buying votes for Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics.

Judge Marcelo Breta’s decision became public on Thursday.

Nuzman, who also chaired Rio 2016’s organizing committee, was found guilty of corruption, criminal organization, money laundering and tax evasion. The 79-year-old boss will not be jailed until all his appeals have been processed.

He and his lawyer did not comment on the decision.

Bretas was also sentenced to prison for former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, businessman Arthur Soares and Leonardo Gryner, who was the Rio 2016 committee’s director general for the operation. Investigators say all three and Nuzman coordinated to bribe former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lamine Diack, and his son Papa Diack.

Cabral, who has been in prison since 2016 and faces a series of other convictions and investigations, told Bretas two years ago that he had paid about $ 2 million in exchange for up to six votes at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting which gave Rio the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He said the money came from a debt that Soares owed him.

Cabral, who ruled the state of Rio between 2003 and 2010, added that an additional $ 500,000 was later paid to Diack’s son in order to secure three more votes from IOC members.

Britain’s ruling says Nuzman is “one of the main culprits in the promotion and organization of the criminal justice system, given his position in the Brazilian Olympic Committee and before international authorities.” The judge also said that the sports director “led and coordinated the actions of the other agents, apparently as a leader” to illegally garner support for the IOC.

The judge said he would send the results of the investigation to the authorities in Senegal and France, where Papa Diack and Lamine Diack, respectively, live.

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

The investigation in Brazil began in 2017 after the French newspaper Le Monde found that members of the IOC had been bribed three days before the 2009 session in Copenhagen, where Rio was chosen to host the games.


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