Authorities arrested the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee accusing him of buying votes inside the International Olympic Committee to assure Rio de Janeiro became the host of the 2016 games.
Brazilian police arrested Carlos Arthur Nuzman for allegedly arranging more than US$2 million in bribes for officials, along with Leonardo Gryner, the former director of the National Olympic Committee.
Both face allegations including corruption and money laundering. Nuzman is also accused of bribing the son of Lamine Diack, former head of the International Association of Athletics Federations and a former IOC member from Senegal.
His lawyers said the vote-buying accusations were unfounded. Diack and his son, Papa Massata Diack, have denied the allegations. The elder Diack is being detained in France as investigations continue.
Federal prosecutor Fabiana Schneider said there was evidence Nuzman had paid an additional US$500,000 to secure the games.
“While Olympic athletes fought for the dream of winning a gold medal, managers tucked away gold in Switzerland,” Schneider said.
The IOC is conducting an internal investigation and said it will cooperate with Brazilian authorities.
“Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr. Nuzman’s right to be heard,” the IOC said.