A former Brazilian governor told a judge on Thursday that he paid about $2 million for International Olympic Committee votes that were used to award Rio de Janeiro the 2016 Olympic Games, according to the Associated Press.
Sergio Cabral — who was the governor of Rio de Janiero from 2003-10 — claimed he paid $1.5 million in bribes through intermediaries to Lamine Diack, the former president of the International Association of Athletic Federations, in exchange for six votes in the meeting that eventually awarded Rio the Olympics. He said that former Brazilian Olympic Committee chairman Carlos Arthur Nuzman handled the negotiations, and that the money came from a debt that was owed to him, per the report.
“Nuzman came to me and said, ‘Sergio, I want to tell you that the IAAF president, Lamine Diack, is a person that is open to undue advantages. He can secure five or six votes. In exchange, he wants $1.5 million,’” Cabral said, via the Associated Press.
Cabral said he then paid an additional $500,000 to Diack’s son in an effort to gain three additional votes, per the report.
“Nuzman told me Papa Diack said he could get more votes,” Cabral said, via the Associated Press. “He said we could reach nine votes in total, but he needed another $500,000. I told him it would be done.”
Cabral was arrested in 2016 for corruption, money laundering and other crimes, per the report. He allegedly met with Nuzman in August 2009, and said that the votes he bought were for “the second stage of the vote.” He did not buy votes after that stage, per the report.
Nuzman’s attorney, João Francisco Neto called the accusation “a version faded to disappear,” and said that Cabral simply has no evidence that this took place.
“Cabral is sentenced to 200 years in prison. He needs to say things, but he has no evidence,” Neto said, via the Associated Press. “Even if that had happened, corporate corruption is not a crime in Brazil.”
Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 games over Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid, beating the Spanish capital 66 votes to 32 votes in the final stage.
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