The Brazilian police on Thursday arrested the head of the national Olympics committee, who is accused of arranging more than $2 million in bribes to get the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pick Rio de Janeiro as host of the 2016 games.
Authorities allege that former Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral, who is serving a 14-year prison term for bribery and money laundering, masterminded the plot.
Carlos Arthur Nuzman, head of Brazil's Olympics committee, has chose to step away from the games' governing body, according to a statement by the National Olympics Committee on Saturday.
The decision came hours after Brazilian authorities investigating a 2016 Olympic vote-buying case asked for help from prosecutors in Switzerland. The latest scandal cast a pall over a meeting in Lima last month of the International Olympic Committee following the designation of Paris for the 2024 Games and Los Angeles as the 2028 host city.
The IOC said that "to protect the interests of the Brazilian athletes" the decision had no bearing on the country's teams.
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Police have accused Nuzman of stashing 16 gold bars weighing 1kg each in a depositary in Geneva and $155,000 in cash in his Rio de Janeiro home.
A statement from IOC pointed out that 'the provisional suspension may be partially or fully lifted when the governance issues of that Brazilian body have been satisfactorily addressed to the IOC Executive Board'.
Brazilian prosecutors have implicated Nuzman in a bribery scheme of at least $2 million to help win votes from International Olympic Committee members, who chose Rio as host city in 2009 in a four-city contest.
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.