Olympic Committee Suspends Brazil Over Vote-Buying Charges

Olympic Committee Suspends Brazil Over Vote-Buying Charges

After being arrested in Rio de Janeiro and accused of storing gold bars in Switzerland, Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Nuzman was suspended by the IOC on Friday.

In a statement, the IOC said the Brazilian Olympic Committee was also suspended due to its responsibility for Rio's bid.

Nuzman, who has denied any wrongdoing, is accused by Brazil's federal police of bribing International Olympic Committee members to support Rio de Janeiro's candidacy to host the Games, reports Xinhua news agency.

The inquiry, known as Operation Unfair Play, is being conducted in conjunction with law enforcement authorities in the United States and France.

The IOC said it had made its decision because Nuzman was "responsible for the candidature of Rio de Janeiro in 2009" when IOC members held a vote in Copenhagen to decide the 2016 Olympics host city. Twenty police officers deployed early Thursday in Rio de Janeiro on orders from a federal judge, arresting Nuzman and seizing documents.

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The decision to suspend the Brazilian governing body and its president came after an emergency meeting by its executive board.

Rio 2016 was credited with being a sporting and organizational success, but revelations of massive corruption during the preparations and now even in the awarding of the Games have tarnished the legacy.

He was arrested last week for allegedly conspiring to rig the election of the city hosting the 2016 games.

The committee said Nuzman would provisionally lose all the "the rights, prerogatives and functions" as a former IOC member and now an honorary member of the global organization.

The move, however, is not expected to have any effect on Brazilian athletes, as they can still compete in the worldwide events, including the 2018 Winter Olympics.