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Nuzman Remains in Prison after Release Bid Fails

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Former Rio 2016 and Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman has been arrested by Brazilian police for alleged involvement in a vote-buying scandal connected to their successful bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Photo: Sebastian Feval/AFP

Carlos Nuzman has failed in a bid to be released from prison and will remain behind bars in Brazil.

The now-former President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and Rio 2016 was arrested on October 5 for alleged involvement in a vote-buying scheme connected to the bid for last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A judge ruled that he would remain in prison indefinitely to prevent possible interference in the investigation, a situation the 75-year-old attempted to overturn.

According to O Globo, his bid was rejected by Judge Abel Gomes at the Federal Regional Court of the Second Region in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.

Nuzman denies all of the charges against him and has pledged to clear his name.

Gomes, however, said he stood accused of “sophisticated conduct of corruption” when turning down his habeas corpus request for freedom.

On October 8, Nuzman resigned from both his COB and Rio 2016 roles to concentrate on defending himself.

He has been suspended as an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was “withdrawn” as a member of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission.

He therefore currently serves no sporting roles.

The COB and Rio 2016 have also been suspended by the IOC, although a Brazilian team will be allowed to compete under their own flag at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Paulo Wanderley was voted in as the new COB President yesterday and will serve the rest of Nuzman’s term until 2020.

Among the charges facing Nuzman are “corruption, money laundering and criminal organization.”

He is suspected by Brazilian prosecutors of being the main link between Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, a businessman nicknamed “King Arthur,” and Senegal’s former International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack.

Diack was a voting member of the IOC at the time Rio was awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games at the IOC Session in Copenhagen eight years ago.

De Menezes allegedly provided at least $1.5 million through a company set-up by Diack’s son, Papa Massata, to help solicit the votes of African IOC members in return for supporting Rio 2016.

Brazilian Federal investigators believe that Nuzman – an IOC member until he passed the age limit in 2012 – filed income tax returns in the last month for items including $155,000 found at his residence in five different currencies and for 16 one-kilogram gold bars deposited in Switzerland.

This, they concluded, was done to “give the appearance of transparency and lawfulness to assets that were hidden.”

By Dan Palmer

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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