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Cost to Host Olympics? Start With $2M in Bribes

Former Rio governor tells court that up to nine IOC officials were paid off in 2016
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2019 12:38 PM CDT
A 2012 photo of Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral.   (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, FILE)
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(Newser) – Chicago was one of the cities that lost out to Rio de Janeiro back in 2009 for the right to host the 2016 Olympics. Bribery apparently would have helped. Sergio Cabral, a former Rio governor, told a court this week that he bought up to nine International Olympic Committee votes with a total of $2 million, reports Reuters. Two of the alleged bribe-takers are former gold medalists—Ukranian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka and Russian swimmer Alexander Popov. However, both denied Friday that they were paid to vote for Rio, reports the AP. The IOC said it is investigating and has contacted both men.

“I have to admit that I am extremely surprised at the appearance of such information with the illegal use of my name,” said Popov, per the New York Times. Bubka rejected “all the false claims made by the former Rio state governor who is currently serving a long prison sentence for corruption.” Cabral detailed a scheme in which he gave $2 million to Lamine Diack, former president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, who allegedly dispersed the money. Also implicated is Carlos Nuzman, former head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. Nuzman was previously charged, and Diack goes on trial next year. The money allegedly came from Brazilian businessman Arthur César de Menezes Soares Filho, who was arrested and released but is now at large. (Read more International Olympic Committee stories.)

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