Brazilian Police Arrest Rio 2016 Olympic Committee Chairman

 

Brazil’s Olympic Committee chief Carlos Nuzman (C) is escorted from his home by federal police in Rio de Janeiro on October 5, 2017. Mauro PIMENTEL / AFP

Brazilian police on Thursday arrested the chairman of the country’s Olympic Committee as part of a probe into alleged vote-buying to secure Rio’s hosting of the 2016 Games.

Twenty federal police agents swept into Rio de Janeiro’s upscale Leblon neighborhood in an early morning operation to arrest 75-year-old Carlos Nuzman.

The Rio 2016 committee’s chief operating officer Leonardo Gryner was arrested in a separate raid.

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

The agents, who were operating on orders from a federal judge, also seized documents.

Nuzman and Gryner “will be charged with the crimes of corruption, money laundering and criminal association,” police said in a statement.

Nuzman appeared relaxed and chatted with the agents as he entered the police station.

The men were sent to the Benefica prison in northern Rio, a police source told AFP.

With their detention, the vice president of Brazil’s Olympic Committee, Paulo Wanderley, has temporarily taken charge of the body.

Assets increased 457%

The arrests are the latest in a widespread corruption scandal rocking Brazil that has ensnared many of the country’s top political and business figures, and which often has links to abroad.

It is “essential” that the suspects be detained “as a guarantee of public order” to allow their assets to be blocked, and to stop them from engaging in any criminal act or interfering with evidence, the Rio prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors asked for some $319 million dollars in assets belonging to Nuzman and Gryner to be blocked.

Nuzman, who has headed Brazil’s Olympic Committee since 1995, saw his assets increase 457 percent over the past decade with no clear source for the new income, prosecutors said.

Nuzman also tried to hide his wealth, often in foreign accounts, the statement read.

He only declared he owned 16 gold bars weighing one kilogram (2.2 pounds) each when he was questioned a month ago, prosecutors said.

‘Unfair Play – Second Half’

Following an investigation dubbed “Unfair Play” that spanned several countries, Brazilian officials last month said Nuzman was the “lynchpin” in a plot to bribe the International Olympic Committee into awarding Rio de Janeiro last year’s Games.

At the time, Nuzman was detained and questioned and authorities confiscated his passport.

Investigators also searched the offices of Brazil’s Olympic Committee and several companies suspected of links to the scandal.

Thursday’s operation in Rio was dubbed “Unfair Play – Second Half.”

Authorities allege that former Rio governor Sergio Cabral, who is serving a 14-year prison term for bribery and money laundering, was the mastermind of the plot, which saw $2 million in bribes paid to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack, before the 2009 vote.

Businessman Arturo Soares, known as “King Arthur,” a top contractor for Cabral’s administration, allegedly delivered the payment three days before the IOC vote in Copenhagen in October 2009. Rio beat bids from Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2016 games.

Honorary IOC member

Rio prosecutors say they have new information conclusively showing how the payments were made. In their statement they cite an email from Papa Massata directly asking Nuzman for help with “the final process,” and an email discussing difficulties in bank transfers.

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.

The latest scandal cast a pall over an IOC meeting in Lima last month following the designation of Paris for the 2024 Games and Los Angeles as the 2028 host city.

IOC President Thomas Bach was asked at the time about Nuzman’s role in the organization as an honorary member. Bach pledged the IOC’s cooperation, but noted that there are limits to any sports organization’s powers of investigation.

Ban Ki-moon, chief of the IOC’s ethics commission, on Thursday also pledged cooperation and asked Brazilian authorities to supply all the available information on the case.

“Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman’s right to be heard,” the IOC said in a statement.

The group “will not comment further on this matter until a recommendation is issued by the IOC Ethics Commission,” and it “reiterates that the presumption of innocence prevails.”

 

AFP

Dalung Says Siasia Has Not Resigned, Gernot Rohr’s Appointment Unofficial

Solomon Dalung, Samson Siasia, Gernot RohrThe Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, says he has not been officially informed of the appointment of a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF had in early August, appointed a German, Gernot Rohr, to manage the Eagles, despite Mr Dalung’s preference for a local coach.

He claimed that Coach Samson Siasia, who led the Nigeria’s U-23 football team to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, had not resigned, contrary to media reports, although his contract with the NFF had lapsed.

Siasia had told reporters that he had on August 27 resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.

Mr Dalung’s frowned at the treatment meted to Siasia by the NFF, alleging that they withdrew his official car in Abuja while he was battling to secure a medal for Nigeria in Rio.

While hinting that he had met with Siasia on Monday, he said Nigeria needed him ‎in football development.

Samson Siasia
Coach Samson Siasia

The Sports Minister further pointed out that even if the NFF would not re-engage him, the Federation should at least, give him some peace of mind to enable him make his contributions in a personal capacity.

He noted that it would be sad to have such coach leave Nigeria for another country out of frustration, just like many athletes did as witnessed during the Rio Olympics.

Abysmal Outing Of Team Nigeria

Dalung also cleared the air on the $390,000 donation to Siasia and his team by a Japanese surgeon, saying that after he met the donor in Rio, he was convinced there were no strings like match-fixing attached to the donation.

He attributed the abysmal outing of the Nigerian Olympic contingent to late release of funds and inability to develop home-grown talents.

The Minister emphasised the need for the National Sports Commission which he said was unfortunately scrapped by a government committee that recommended merger of ministries.‎

He was at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s outing at the ‎just concluded Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Since Team Nigeria were able to win bronze medal in football, Mr Dalung urged the President to host the team.

Dream Team Win First Medal For Nigeria In Rio

Nigeria-dream-Team-in-Rio-OlympicsThe Dream Team VI on Saturday won Nigeria’s only medal at the Rio Olympics.

The football team, led by John Mikel, defeated hard-fighting Honduras 3 – 2 to clinch the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Sadiq Umar scored a brace with Aminu Umar also getting on the score sheet before the Central Americans fought back to take the game to 3-2.

They were earlier denied a place in the finals when they lost 2 – 0 to Germany while Brazil also beat Honduras 6 – 0.

The African Champions have so far, won three medals in their Olympics history.

They won gold in Atlanta 1996, Silver in Beijing 2008 and now have a bronze medal in Rio 2016.

Australian Athletes Fined For Improper Accreditation

Rio Olympics, IOC, AOC, Australian athletesA group of Australian Olympic athletes have been fined by Brazilian Police after they tried to get into a venue they were not accredited for.

The group of 10 athletes were taken to a police station after trying to enter the basketball arena to watch a semi-final game between Australia and Serbia.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) confirmed that the athletes included Rugby Sevens Captain, Ed Jenkins and bronze medal winning cyclist, Matthew Glaetzer among others.

The AOC Chief Executive, Fiona de Jong, told ABC that the athletes did not have the correct accreditation, but denied earlier reports that they had been arrested.

“A mistake was made this evening.

“We have apologised for that mistake before the magistrate and prosecutor.

“We have agreed on an outcome which is the payment of the fine and a good behaviour bond for each of the athletes involved,” she said.

Officials of the International Olympic Committee and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee were not available for comment.

Olympics: Funke Oshonaike is Team Nigeria’s Flag Bearer

Funke Oshonaike, Team Nigeria, OlympicsExperienced and elegant Table Tennis star, Olufunke Oshonaike, will lead out Team Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, at the Maracana Stadium on Friday, August 5.

The graceful and stylish ping ponger, who is competing in her sixth Olympics, is also the assistant Team Captain to Mikel Obi who at the weekend was also named captain of the football team, thereby making him a double captain to the Games.

Funke Oshonaike, no doubt, would treasure to be the flag bearer as marching with her fellow athletes in an opening ceremony is considered by many athletes as the pinnacle of their Olympic journey.

Table Tennis is indeed honoured with yet another player, Segun Toriola whose incredible willpower and perseverance sees him as the Nigerian with seven appearances at the Olympics.

The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics would also see an athlete take the Olympic Oath during the Opening Ceremony, “In the name of all the competitors”.

Mayor of Rio To Welcome Team Nigeria To Games Village

Rio Olympics, Russia, IOC, Team NigeriaThe Mayor of Rio De Janeiro, Eduardo da Costa Paes accompanied by other officials will welcome Team Nigeria to the Games Village of the Summer Rio Olympics on Wednesday, August 3, by 10a.m (Brazilian time).

Each team from the 206 countries is welcomed to the Village in a special ceremony led by the Village Chieftains as well as athletes and officials of the countries.

Team Welcome Ceremonies are a key occasion for athletes, team officials and their guests. It acknowledges their journey to the Games and marks the start of their residency in the Village.

The brief but impressive ceremony will celebrate the Nigerian heritage and culture. The Green, White, Green flag would be raised and the national anthem played.

President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel who is also a member of International Olympic Committee (IOC), and other Nigerian officials will be present at the event.

Brazilian officials have promised to make sure that the largest athletes’ Village in history provides a comfortable, welcoming and inspiring place for all the competitors.

In the Village, Technogym has installed a state-of-the-art gym for Team Nigeria that will occupy four floors in block 11.

Segun Toriola Relishes Seventh Olympic Games Appearance

Segun Toriola, Olympic GamesWhen the Rio 2016 Olympic Games kicks off on August 5, Segun Toriola will put his name in the annals of Olympic history as the first African to compete at seven Olympic Games.

When Segun Toriola made his debut at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in Spain, he just wanted to fulfill his childhood dream of competing at the world’s biggest sporting event.

“I feel very great about my seventh Olympic Games because it is a record for me, Nigeria and for the continent of Africa.

“At the beginning of my career, I didn’t know that I’m going to play in seven Olympics but here I am heading to Rio and I am super excited for this feat,” he said.

Toriola, who is yet to get a national honour for his feat as the most successful table tennis player in Africa is focusing on doing well a Rio Olympic Games.

In his three decades’ career, Toriola has recorded some important achievements and this are;

* 4 African Table Tennis Singles Championships (1998, 2002, 2004, 2006) and 2 Doubles Championships (1994, 1992)

* A Commonwealth Singles Championship (2002) in Manchester (United Kingdom)

* A Commonwealth Doubles Championship and Singles Bronze Medal (2006) in Melbourne (Australia)

* 4 African Games Singles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007),

* 4 Doubles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007),

* 1 Mixed Doubles Gold Medal (1999, with Bose Kaffo; they also won silver in 2003)

* 3 Team Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003).

* Olympic Games: Featured in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and now 2016 in Brazil.

However, Toriola is optimistic of a good outing in Rio despite the lack of preparation, “‎The team is trying a lot to prepare ourselves because it is very important that we put up a good performance and make the country proud at the Olympics.

“We are preparing ourselves very well and hopefully we will have something to celebrate in Rio.”

On Aruna Quadri, he said: “Aruna Quadri is an experienced player considering what he has achieved as a player. I don’t think that he will be under unnecessary pressure because he is not going to be thinking about the pressure because it is only when an athlete thinks based on his status that the pressure will affect his performance.”

Nigeria Will Succeed At Rio Olympics, FG Assures

Rio OlympicsThe Federal Government has assured Nigerians that the nation’s Olympic team will put up a sterling performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics holding in Brazil.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, said that although the country is experiencing some challenges at the moment, the government is satisfied with the level of preparation of the Nigeria Olympic team‎.

He announced that over 95 athletes have qualified for the Olympics and urged Nigerians to support the Nigeria Olympic ‎Committee in its efforts to develop sports in Nigeria.

FG Protests Denial Of Visa To U-17 Female Basketball Team

Basketball Team, U-17 Basketball The federal government has registered its displeasure over the denial of visa to members of the nation’s under-17 female basketball team by Spain.

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Solomon Dalung, expressed his displeasure while speaking with state house correspondents on Tuesday.

The minister recalled that the female basketball players had qualified in Madagascar for the Spain event but after fulfilling all visa requirements, they were denied visa.

He said that he had, earlier before coming to the Presidential Villa, visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to officially protest the treatment given to Nigeria.

He promised to carry out further investigation because the reasons given by the embassy of Spain were not genuine.

The 2016 FIBA U-17 World Championship dunked off on June 21 in Spain with Nigeria drawn in Group A with Canada, Latvia and Japan.

The Coach Adeka Daudu-led U-17 girls had qualified from the African Championship held in Madagascar in 2015.

On Nigeria’s level of preparations towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Minister of Sports said that Nigeria will surpass the abysmal performance it recorded in 2012.

According to him, Nigeria will feature in only eight events in the Olympic Games in Rio.

The Minister was in the Presidential Villa to get the attention of the President so that the ministry can have enough funding to prosecute the Games.

 

Egypt To Represent Africa In Rio Olympics Volleyball

OlympicsAfrican champions, Egypt have booked the place at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Egyptians overcame Tunisia in a dramatic five-set match at the men’s African Olympics volleyball qualification tournament in Brazzaville, Congo.

Egypt claimed the sole Olympic berth by winning the encounter 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 16-14.

Having booked their place at Rio 2016, Egypt will now set their sights on claiming a first victory in an Olympic tournament at their fourth appearance.

They join the Argentina, Russia and Cuba as regional qualifiers, while the United States and Italy also earned the right to compete alongside the host nation Brazil, due to their performances at the 2015 World Cup.

Nigeria Qualify For CAF U-23 Championship Semi-Finals

Under-23Nigeria’s Dream Team 6 have qualified for the semi-finals of the CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal.

Coach Samson Siasia’s team secured their place in the last four after holding Algeria to a goalless draw, coupled with Egypt’s 1-0 loss to Mali.

Nigeria will play Senegal for a place in the final after finishing second behind Algeria in group B.

The top three teams at the tournament will represent Africa at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

I expect at least 36 medals in next Olympics – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has raised the bar of performance in sports ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil as he charged Nigerian Athletes to bring home with 36 medals which must include at least five gold medals.

Also present at the retreat which took place on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others were members of the Federal Executive Council, sports administrators, security chiefs, captains of industries among others.

The president charged the state governors to look into areas of advantage so as to contribute one athlete in their own chosen advantageous area who will be amongst the Team Nigeria 2016 contingent.

Mr Jonathan said: “Every state has some level of comparative advantage in one form of sports or the order and if every state will promise Nigerians that we will give you a medal in this area and another medal in this area that means we are expecting 36 medals.

“Out of these 36 medals, at least five will be gold. I also believe that the private sector will play a key role. We know that in some countries, the private sector plays some key roles in sporting activities and not just trading or manufacturing sporting wares.”

The president further promised his administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria becomes the best sporting nation in Africa and among the top four sporting nations in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world.

Jonathan said the vision was not only realistic but was also achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication.

The purpose of the retreat according to the president was to chart a new course for sports in Nigeria and reclaim the country’s past glory as well as restore happiness and glory to the sporting events.

Mr Jonathan observed that apart from its benefits in bringing joy to Nigerians, especially when the nation’s teams do well, no other sector of national life has a greater force for mobilising and uniting the people around a common purpose than sports.