RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian prosecutors charged the former head of the national Olympics committee (COB), Carlos Nuzman, and five other people on Wednesday with corruption based on an investigation of alleged bribery to have Rio de Janeiro host the 2016 Games.
Nuzman, who was provisionally suspended by the International Olympic Committee and arrested in Rio on Oct. 5, was charged with racketeering, money laundering and violating currency laws.
The former governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Sergio Cabral, and former COB director Leonardo Gryner also were charged with corruption in connection with a $2 million payment to guarantee votes for Rio, the prosecutors’ office said.
Nuzman, 75, a former IOC member and now honorary member, is accused of arranging bribes to get the IOC to pick Rio as host of the 2016 Olympic Games. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Rio was awarded the Games in 2009 over Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.
Those charged included Brazilian businessman Arthur Soares, who prosecutors said acted as an intermediary, and Lamine Diack, a former IOC member from Senegal and former head of the International Association of Athletics Federation.
Brazilian police raided Nuzman’s home in September and accused him of paying a $2 million bribe to Diack’s son Papa Diack, who was also charged. Father and son have denied the allegations.
The IOC provisionally suspended Nuzman a day after he was arrested, along with the COB, which was responsible for Rio’s bid to stage the Games. The IOC said Brazilian athletes would not be affected and Team Brazil would be able to take part at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea.
Nuzman resigned last week as head of the COB. In a letter to the committee he said he needed to devote himself to his legal defense and would not be returning.
Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing and additional reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by Bill Trott