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Brazilian Olympic Committee Suspended Following Arrest of Top Official

LADB Article ID: 80451
Category/Department: Brazil
Date: 2017-11-03
By: Gregory Scruggs

The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, the driving force behind the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, has been arrested on corruption charges. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who chaired the national committee that secured the first Olympics in South America, is accused of bribing a Senegalese member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with US$2 million and paying out another US$500,000 in other bribes. According to Brazilian prosecutors, he also deposited 16 1-kilogram gold bars in Switzerland. They say the graft served to buy votes in the bidding process for the 2016 games. In response to the announcement, the IOC suspended Brazil’s membership. Nuzman resigned from his post shortly after his arrest and the vice president of the Brazilian committee, Paulo Wanderley Teixeira, assumed the top spot, vowing to clean house on corruption. The allegations have drawn extra scrutiny from federal officials about the Brazilian committee’s use of funds. With the committee’s reputation tarnished, sporting officials are concerned about the nation’s ability to field competitive athletes in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

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