Brazil's Olympic committee chairman arrested

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Brazilian police yesterday arrested the chairman of the Brazilian Olympic Committee as part of a probe into alleged buying of votes to secure Rio de Janeiro's hosting of the Olympics a year ago.

Brazilian police arrested the head of the national Olympics committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who is accused of conspiring to bribe members of the International Olympic Committee in order to make them pick Rio de Janeiro as host of the 2016 games.

Carlos A. Nuzman has been under investigation as part of a probe into bribery allegations that surfaced after Brazil landed the 2016 games.

Thursday's operation in Rio was dubbed "Unfair Play - Second Half".

The 75-year-old Nuzman was one of the most prominent figures in bringing the games to Rio.

A source is in possession of emails that could corroborate the accusations, according to Brazilian justice officials.

"In the past 10-22 years of his presidency of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Nuzman increased his wealth by 457 percent, without a clear indication of [where this came from], as well as maintained a part of his wealth hidden in Switzerland", prosecutors said, according to the Financial Times.

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"The IOC's Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer has asked the Brazilian authorities for full information in order to proceed with the IOC's investigation, and has offered the IOC's full cooperation", the spokesperson said.

A grim-faced Nuzman left his home wearing a dark business suit in the Rio heat as he was escorted by police.

Rio beat Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to win the 2016 Games. Tokyo eventually won the right to host in 2020 while the International Olympic Committee recently awarded the 2024 and 2028 editions to Paris and Los Angeles respectively. The Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo notes that Nuzman was reportedly planning to demand the International Olympic Committee "provide him with a financial bailout" given the exponential debt left behind by the event.

In a statement, the International Olympic Committee said it was fully cooperating with the investigation and conducting its own probe.

"The IOC Ethics Commission's activities started immediately after the allegations were made, and the investigation is ongoing".

The IOC investigation will be the first test of the newly elected members of the Ethics Commission including chair Ban Ki Moon.

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