The home of Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), has been raided by the country’s federal police as part of an investigation into suspicions of vote-buying in the build-up to the award of the hosting rights for the 2016 summer Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro.
Nuzman (pictured) spearheaded Rio’s successful bid for the Olympics, with the Brazilian city overcoming Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo in the campaign. Police confirmed today (Tuesday) that two arrest warrants had also been issued as part of the probe that was launched nine months ago in cooperation with French authorities, according to the Reuters news agency.
In March, French newspaper Le Monde said that prosecutors in the country had “concrete pieces of information” seriously questioning the bidding process for the 2016 Games. It added that, three days before the election of the host city, a company linked to Brazilian businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho paid $1.5m (€1.4m) to the son of Lamine Diack, then president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
A preliminary investigation had been opened in France in December 2015 and it was reported in March 2016 that its remit had been extended beyond corruption in world athletics to include the bidding and voting processes that led to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo being awarded hosting rights to the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
The investigation into wrongdoing at the IAAF has led to multiple arrests including that of Lamine Diack and an international warrant issued for his son, the organisation’s former marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack, who has been banned for life by the IAAF.
France’s financial prosecutor said today that Papa Massata Diack had been at the centre of a corruption racket, Reuters added.
“There are several consistent indications that payments have been made in return for the votes of IAAF and International Olympic Committee members over the designation of host cities for the biggest global sporting events," the prosecutor said.