Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman Questioned Over Alleged Vote-Buying
The IOC cannot "get away from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics," according to Wade & Prengaman of the AP. The IOC is "ready to put a rubber-stamp approval this month on bids" from Paris and L.A. for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, respectively, yet Olympic officials "are once again answering questions about corruption in the bidding process," this time from '09, when Rio "surprisingly got more votes than Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo." The 2016 Rio Games "were already marred by trails of corruption, and billions of public money spent and several useless white-elephant venues spread around the city." Things "got worse Tuesday" when police raided the home of Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman, questioning him over his role "in what French and Brazilian authorities say was a vote-buying scheme to land the Olympics." Federal Prosecutor Fabiana Schneider said, "The Olympic Games were used as a big trampoline for acts of corruption." Alan Tomlinson, an Olympic historian at the University of Brighton, said, "Although the IOC has tightened rules and looked to rid itself of the mavericks and the crooks in its midst, it is hardly a surprise that a top-level organizer of the Rio 2016 Games is suspected of buying votes." Tomlinson said that worldwide sports federations "remain an uncontrollable behemoth in global sports governance" (AP, 9/6). REUTERS' Pedro Fonseca reported the legacy of South America's first Olympics "has been muddied by allegations of graft." Nearly every infrastructure project connected to the Games "is under investigation." Prosecutors allege that major construction firms "bribed politicians and others to win contracts worth billions of dollars for the event." Tuesday’s development "drove home the stunning fall from grace" of officials who sold the idea that Rio’s Olympics would "transform a developing-world city through giant strides in security, infrastructure and environmental improvements." Most of the building was done by "large construction firms now ensnared" in Brazil's sweeping "Car Wash" anti-corruption investigation. The firms "have admitted paying massive bribes to politicians" and former execs at state-run companies in return for contracts. Prosecutors "suspect the same arrangement also took place" in works for the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil hosted (REUTERS, 9/5).
NO DRAMA: REUTERS' Karolos Grohmann reported when the IOC's 100-plus members "sit down next week in Lima" to vote on the hosts of the 2024 and the 2028 Olympics, "it will be a rare case of the result long known." The IOC session in Peru will "therefore lack the usual dramatic moment when the name of a city is pulled out of an envelope" as Paris will be awarded the Games in seven years' time and L.A. will get "the nod" for '28. No heads of state will fly into the Peruvian capital for "frantic, last-minute lobbying" as the IOC members will "merely be ratifying" a "tri-partite" agreement between the two cities and the IOC on Sept. 13. IOC President Thomas Bach said that the process in the past was "creating too many losers" and the decision for the double awarding would now be "a win-win-win" for all three parties involved (REUTERS, 9/6).
IN MEMORIAM: REUTERS' Ayhan Uyanik reported victims of the attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympic Games "were remembered by Germany and Israel on Wednesday with a memorial, following a long campaign by their relatives." German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin attended the inauguration of the "Munich 1972 massacre memorial" at Munich's Olympic Park, 45 years after the attack by Palestinian gunmen. Rivlin said, "Relatives of the victims and the state of Israel waited almost half a century for this moment." On September 5, 1972, a German policeman, 11 Israelis and five of the Palestinian gunmen "died after a stand-off" at the athletes village and then a nearby airfield, as police rescue efforts failed (REUTERS, 9/6).