Olympic Notes: Brazil Police Investigating Sport Federations Over Alleged Embezzlement
Brazilian federal police are investigating local sports federations for "allegedly embezzling funds meant for training Olympic athletes." Police suspect Brazilian federations "misappropriated funds destined to buy equipment and improve training sites ahead of the Games." Police are investigating whether former Sports Minister Ricardo Leyser "knew about the scheme." A spokesperson for the federal police "did not immediately respond to a request for comments." A representative for Leyser could not be reached, "although the minister denied any wrongdoing in an interview" to Globo TV's weekly broadcast Fantastico (REUTERS, 7/3).
EXTRA SECURITY: Concerned with the recent terrorist bombing at the Istanbul airport in Turkey, Brazilian officials are "stepping up their security for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games." Officials have announced "several security measures including Marine personnel at Copacabana Beach and extra security at airports." Minister of Transport, Ports & Civil Aviation Mauricio Quintella said, "Despite all the effort and preparation, events like those [the bombing at Istanbul airport] generate alerts. The ministry is taking a special look at these areas" (RIO TIMES, 7/1).
FEDERAL AID: Despite the "reassurances by the state government that wages would be paid with the aid sent by the federal government for security in Rio," off-duty police officers "were once again protesting at Rio's airport and warning visitors that those who venture out to the city 'are not safe.'" Outside the main arrival terminal "protesters also spread on the floor dummies to represent police officers and firemen killed or wounded in the line of duty." According to officers, their wages "have not been paid and they complain about the dangers of the job." Firefighter Vanderlei Duarte said, “How can a city which does not have security host the Games?" (RIO TIMES, 7/4).
'SWIFT ACTION': The Korean Olympic body will "take swift action" once the world's top sports tribunal rules on the status of the banned swimmer Park Tae-hwan. Korean Olympic Committee Secretary General Cho Young-ho said that the KOC "doesn't intend to resort to time-delaying tactics" once the Court of Arbitration for Sport announces its decision. CAS is "expected to hand down the ruling by Friday at the latest." Last Friday, a Seoul court ruled that Park "is eligible for Rio and said the KOC has no grounds for barring him from the competition." Cho had said at the time "the KOC would respect the court's decision, and there's no shift to that stance" (YONHAP, 7/4).
OLYMPIC BRIEFS ...
Cricket will be included in the 2024 Olympics "if Rome wins the hosting rights, according to the president of the Italian cricket board." Rome, Paris, L.A. and Budapest are "bidding to host the Games and, under new regulations, the local organising committee has the opportunity to add five sports to the schedule at its own discretion." Italian Cricket Federation President Simone Gambino said, "If Rome hosts the Olympics, cricket will be included" (STUFF, 7/3).
With "almost half a million tourists expected to visit Rio in little over one month, city officials recently released the new Rio 2016 RioCard transit card which will allow unlimited travel on the city’s public transportation." The Rio 2016 RioCard will be available "in one, three, or seven-day periods with the unlimited travel feature only valid for a period covering the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics," from Aug. 1 to Sept. 18. Unlimited travel on Rio's public transportation system including city buses BRT trains and metro (RIO TIMES, 7/1).
Korean apparel firm Kolon Fashion Material Co. said that it will provide "mosquito-free" uniforms to the country's athletes participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The so-called "MOS-LOCK" will be made out of fabric that is "equipped with repellent that keeps mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus away." The uniform "will be worn by Korean archery and golf players during ceremonies and at the athletes' village" (YONHAP, 7/4).