Olympics: Carlos Nuzman charged in Rio Games vote-rigging probe

Nuzman arrives at Federal Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct 5, 2017.
Nuzman arrives at Federal Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct 5, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Former Brazil Olympic president Carlos Nuzman was formally charged with corruption on Wednesday (Oct 18) for his role in an alleged vote-rigging scandal which helped secure the 2016 Olympics for Rio.

According to prosecutors, Lamine Diack, the former head of world athletics, and his son Papa Massata Diack were also accused of participating in an international network of vote-buying worth US$2 million (S$2.7 million).

The indictment said that Nuzman, 75, and the former governor of Rio, Sergio Cabral, "directly solicited" from a businessman "the payment of US$2 million" to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack, "to secure votes for the election of Rio".

Cabral - already serving a 15-year prison sentence - and the businessman in question, Arthur Soares - who is on the run - have also been indicted, as has Leonardo Gryner, ex-right-hand man of Nuzman.

Soares, nicknamed "King Arthur", a top contractor for Cabral's administration, allegedly delivered the payment three days before the vote which took place in 2009.

Rio beat bids from Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2016 Games.

Nuzman resigned as Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) chairman last week following his arrest.

The Internatiional Olympic Committee responded by suspending the BOC and stripping Nuzman of his honorary membership, while also removing him from the coordination committee for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

He has been held in prison since his arrest.