Police raid house of Brazilian Olympic Committee president

Police have searched the house of the Brazilian Olympic committee's president and issued a warrant forcing him to give evidence in an investigation into bribery surrounding the awarding of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Police said detention warrants had been issued for Carlos Nuzman and an associate, Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho.

Nuzman was seen leaving his house accompanied by his lawyer. Police were also seen removing suitcases, documents and a computer.

Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic committee, arrives at Federal Police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. AP Photo/Leo Correa

Nuzman's lawyer, Sergio Mazzillo, told reporters outside the house that his client would co-operate but was innocent of any wrongdoing.

"I can confirm that (Nuzman) did not commit any irregularity," Mr Mazzillo said. "Unfortunately, this has created a media spectacle."

A police statement said authorities were investigating an international corruption scheme that involved the buying of International Olympic Committee votes for the awarding of the 2016 Games.

In total, 11 detention warrants were issued for people in Brazil and France in what police dubbed Operation Unfair Play.

Nuzman, 75, was an IOC member for 12 years and one of the most prominent players in bringing the Games to Rio.

He is now an honorary IOC member and part of the 2020 Tokyo Games commission, which advises organisers how to run the event.

French and Brazilian authorities have been working on a corruption investigation involving bribery surrounding the awarding of the 2016 Rio Games and the 2020 Tokyo Games.

In France, a two-year probe into corruption in sports first came to light with the arrest in November 2015 of Lamine Diack, the former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The French have been looking into allegations that Diack, one of his sons, Papa Massata Diack, and others were involved in blackmailing athletes and covering up doping positives.

That initial and ongoing probe has morphed into several investigations, expanded beyond the IAAF to look at suspicions of possible vote-buying in the awarding of events, and involved law enforcement agencies beyond France.

-AP


KEYWORDS: olympics, 2016, rio

 

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