Olympic Committee suspends Brazilian arm after chief’s arrest

Carlos Nuzman
In September, Mr Nuzman's home was searched. He was questioned and had his passport seized.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suspended its Brazilian arm amid an investigation into corruption allegations.

It also suspended the head of Brazil’s Olympic committee, Carlos Nuzman, as an honorary member, and has frozen all its payments to the body.

Mr Nuzman was arrested on Thursday and is being investigated as part of a cash-for-votes probe linked to the bid for the 2016 Rio Games.

He denies all wrongdoing.

The IOC said Brazil’s athletes would not be affected and they will continue to be paid.

They will also still be allowed to compete in the Winter Games in South Korea in February.

Leonardo Gryner, the Brazilian committee’s director general, was also arrested on Thursday.

The inquiry – known as Operation Unfair Play – is being conducted in conjunction with French and US police.

In September, Mr Nuzman’s home was searched. He was questioned and had his passport seized.

Brazilian prosecutors believe he acted as an intermediary in an alleged $2m (£1.5m) payment to Papa Massata Diack, the son of an influential Senegalese member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It is alleged that this was done to secure the vote of Lamine Diack, who was then serving as the head of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF).

All parties have denied the allegations.

Mr Nuzman, 72, led the committee from 1995 and headed Rio’s successful bid to host the 2016 Games.

A statement from Mr Nuzman’s lawyer, released last month, read: “The entire journey of the Rio Olympics, from the bid to the closing ceremony, was conducted within the law.”

In June, former Rio State Governor Sergio Cabral was jailed for 14 years after participating in the embezzlement of $64m from construction contracts, including the renovation of Rio’s Maracana stadium, where the 2016 opening and closing ceremonies were held.

French prosecutors announced last year that they were widening their investigation into corruption in athletics to include the bidding-and-voting processes for the hosting of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

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