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IOC moves to suspend Nuzman

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has today (Friday) suspended Carlos Nuzman after the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) was arrested amid a probe into an alleged vote-buying scandal.

The IOC said its Executive Board made the decision after it had “taken note and discussed the circumstances” of the allegations against and the arrest of Nuzman (pictured).

The 75-year-old honorary IOC member, who is the former head of the Rio 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games’ organising committee, has also been withdrawn from the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The IOC has also moved to provisionally suspend the COB, whose subsidies and payments have been frozen. As a result, the COB will not be allowed to exercise its membership rights in National Olympic Committee associations.

The decision will not affect Brazilian athletes and the IOC will accept a Brazilian team at next year’s winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea. Olympic scholarships will also continue to be paid to Brazilian athletes.

The provisional suspension may be partly or fully lifted when the COB’s governance issues have been addressed to the satisfaction of the Executive Board.

In addition, the Executive Board stated that the IOC closed all its obligations with the Rio 2016 organising committee in December 2016. The Executive Board has now taken the decision to provisionally suspend all other relations with the organising committee.

The sanctions have been imposed after Nuzman was arrested yesterday (Thursday) amid accusations from prosecutors that he helped divert $2m (€1.7m) to Lamine Diack, the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), in exchange for supporting Rio’s bid for the 2016 Games.

Just hours after having arrested Nuzman, prosecutors said that at least another $500,000 was paid to members of the IOC in the build-up to the vote, according to the Reuters news agency.

Last month it emerged that Nuzman’s house had been raided by police after he had been accused by prosecutors in Rio of collaborating with former State Governor Sergio Cabral to ‘buy’ votes for the bid.

Leonardo Gryner, who served as the organising committee’s director general of operations, was also arrested yesterday morning.

Nuzman was also accused of trying to “obstruct the investigation” and it is claimed that he amended his tax declaration by adding about $600,000 in income a few days after he was held for questioning.

Nuzman’s lawyer, Nelio Machado, has labelled the treatment of his client as “harsh and unusual”. On Saturday, the COB said Nuzman has opted to step aside from his leadership positions whilst he bids to fight the allegations made against him.