Should the Rio Games have taken place? Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee for more than two decades, was sentenced this Thursday evening to thirty years in prison for having bought votes for the Brazilian city to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Also at the head of the Organizing Committee of Rio 2016, the 79-year-old man was found guilty of the heads of “Corruption”, “criminal organization”, “money laundering” and “tax evasion”. He will not be incarcerated until his appeals are all heard. He and his lawyer have not commented on this decision.
In his decision, the judge describes Nuzman as being “One of the main persons responsible for the promotion and organization of the criminal stratagem, given his position within the Brazilian Olympic Committee and before the international authorities”. The judge also said that Nuzman “Directed and coordinated the action of other agents, clearly as a leader” to illegally seize support for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
According to the investigators in charge of the case, Carlos Arthur Nuzman would have coordinated with the former governor of Rio, Sérgio Cabral, the businessman Arthur Soares (later implicated for a series of dubious public contracts within the framework of operation “Lava Jato”) and Leonardo Gryner, former director general of operations of the Rio 2016 Committee – also sentenced to prison terms. They allegedly bribed Lamine Diack, the former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and his son Papa Massata Diack, to get votes.
Millions of dollars against voices
In September 2020, Lamine Diack was himself sentenced to four years in prison, including two closed, by a French court for “Money laundering” and «corruption» in the Russian state doping case. For his part, Papa Massata Diack took five years in prison in absentia and a fine of one million pounds. The investigations in this case led to the dubious conditions of attribution of the Rio Games.
Papa Massata Diack previously denied the vote buying allegations and implicated Sergio Cabral, who allegedly tried to strike a deal. Cabral, who has been in prison since 2016 and faces a string of other convictions and investigations, told court in 2019 he spent nearly $ 2 million to secure up to six votes in the landmark meeting of the International Olympic Committee, which awarded Rio the organization of the Games in October 2009. The ex-leader added that an additional $ 500,000 was later paid to Diack’s son in order to obtain three additional votes from the IOC members.
The investigation in Brazil started in 2017 after the world discovered that IOC members had been bribed three days before the 2009 session in Copenhagen, in which Rio was chosen to host the Games. To the detriment of those in Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.
This Friday, we also learned that the French Anti-Corruption Agency is calling into question the Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the company which carries out the arrangements, whose operating methods do not have enough assurance to avoid the drifts.