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Investigators find signs of Rio bid corruption
December 08, 2017
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Paris: Rio de Janeiro made history in 2009 when the Brazilian beach paradise became the first city in South America selected to host an Olympics.

But eight years later, evidence is emerging tainting that triumph with suspicion.

The information is surfacing, in part, because one scandal is leading to another. Two years ago, Papa Massata Diack, the son of Lamine Diack, the then president of the world athletics governing body (IAAF), emerged into the spotlight in the scandal over a coverup of Russian doping.

Now the 52-year old Senegalese, who worked as a marketing consultant for the IAAF, is in the sights of French and Brazilian investigations into Rio’s Olympics.

In September, the Brazilians launched an anti-corruption operation named “Unfair Play,” and emails they have seized add to suspicions over the Rio bidding.

French justice is involved because some of the money might have been laundered in its jurisdiction.

In June 2016, French financial prosecutors interviewed Eric Walther Maleson, a former Brazilian IOC member, who pointed the finger at Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and leader of the Rio bid, saying that bribes had been paid to secure the Olympic Grail. But Maleson, who has grudges against Nuzman, “did not seem to know about the movements of money,” said a source close to the probe.

Even so, French investigators did unearth two payments totalling $2 million that landed on Sept.29, 2009, three days after the Rio vote, in accounts owned by Papa Massata Diack, or one of his companies in Moscow and Dakar.

The money came from a company, Matlock Capital, behind which was a Brazilian businessman, Arthur Soares. “King Arthur” was known as someone close to the former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, who is now serving 14 years for corruption.

Papa Massata Diack did not answer why Matlock had sent him the money.

However, after the vote in Copenhagen, in which Rio beat Madrid by 66 votes to 33 in the third round, Papa Massata Diack had exchanges with the Rio bid team.

Agence France-Presse

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