LANE ONE: Low point for Olympic sport: Athletes revolt against UIPM over equestrian withdrawal; Rio 2016 president Nuzman sentenced to more than 30 years for corruption

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The Thanksgiving weekend in the United States was hardly a joyous one in the Olympic Movement, as the two main leaders of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic organizing effort received long prison sentences for corruptionfollowed by the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne officially withdrawing equestrianism from the event under the howls of its most prominent athletes.

But that’s not the end of either story.

Friday in Rio de Janeiro, the seventh judge of the Federal Criminal Court Marcelo Bretas sentence announced for the former president of Rio 2016 Carlos Nuzman79 years old, at 30 years old, 11 months in prison for corruption in connection with the selection of the IOC of Rio in 2009. The general manager of Rio 2016, Leonard Grynerwas sentenced to 13 years, 10 months and former governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro Sergio Cabral58, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months, in addition to previous convictions for bribes during his sentence for which he was sentenced to a total of more than 59 years in prison.

Wrote Bretas (computer translation of the Portuguese original): “The reasons that led CARLOS NUZMAN to the criminal practice are highly reprehensible, having turned out to be a greedy person and who, despite having full knowledge of the criminal nature of his activities and the seriousness of his acts, used his public office to commit crimes. ”

The 2009 vote-buying program for Rio was born out of concern that despite a strong bid and the possibility of the Games being held in South America for the first time, the Brazilians were very concerned about being knocked out in the first round. with scattered votes. among other strong offers from Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.

Thus, Nuzman – member of the International Olympic Committee since 2000 and then president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee – reached an agreement with another member of the IOC Lamine Diack of Senegal, then president of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF). Cabral described the arrangement as a $1.5 million payment to Diack for a guarantee of 5–6 votes from other IOC members.

The money came from a Brazilian businessman Alberto Soares and was transferred to a company controlled by Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack. Another $500,000 was added by a Brazilian currency broker named Willy Krausto secure three more votes to secure Rio’s advancement to the second ballot.

At the IOC Session in Copenhagen in 2009, Madrid led the first ballot with 28 votes, followed by Rio (26), Tokyo (22) and Chicago (18), which were eliminated. The bribes worked. Rio took the lead in the second round, 46-29-20 against Madrid and Tokyo, then 66-32 in the final round against Madrid to win the 2016 Games.

The case opened in 2017 and Nuzman, Gryner and Cabral were all charged at that time. Prosecutions against Soares and the two Diacks ​​were not possible as they lived outside Brazilian jurisdiction.

Nuzman’s lawyer, Joao Francisco Netoindicated an immediate appeal of the sentence and told the media (computer translation from the Portuguese original): “The judge sentenced him for sport, without proof. Nuzman will certainly be acquitted. The courts of the Republic will not honor this unspeakable judicial violence.” Nuzman, officially convicted of bribery, criminal organization, money laundering and tax evasion, was released pending appeal.

It’s another black eye for the Rio 2016 Games, which endured endless controversy and ran out of money in the end. The organizing committee was so broke after the Games that it was the only one who never submitted a final report on the event.

The International Olympic Committee is also, of course, embarrassed by the case and will now have to investigate corruption issues itself. A French procedure against Lamine Diack linked to the Rio bribes is still pending. There will likely be more repercussions.

The Nuzman revelations are a sad chapter in the Rio 2016 saga, and came just 11 years after the Salt Lake City bid scandal related to the bid for the 2002 Winter Games have come to light.

The sadness around the Rio 2016 corruption cases contrasts with the outright anger over the removal of equestrianism as a discipline from modern pentathlon.

At the UIPM’s 71st online congress on Saturday, the German national federation’s motion to remove equestrianism from the sport passed 66 to 15, despite desperate campaigning by a large group of today’s top pentathletes. . that of the federation announcement included:

“Delegates voted 81% in favor of ratifying the historic decision of the UIPM Executive Committee to open a ‘5th Discipline’ consultation process, announced on 4 November, to propose to the IOC a format for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 with a new 5th discipline. , to be determined by the UIPM. The objective of this ongoing process is to evaluate alternative disciplines to equestrian with a view to adding a new discipline to the modern pentathlon after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“Congress ratification allows stakeholders to continue the 5th Discipline consultation process with the official support of the global community. The UIPM has submitted a draft proposal for Los Angeles 2028 for consideration by the IOC’s Program Commission at its next meeting on December 1. Once the 5th Disciplinary Consultation is completed, the UIPM community will have the final say on the proposed new composition of the sport with a vote at the 72nd UIPM Congress in 2022.”

said UIPM President Klaus Schorman (ALL):

“The strong majority in favor of this decision gives us a very comfortable feeling and confirms that the UIPM EC has acted in the interests of the UIPM family. The debate was fair, open and very clear. Delegates had the opportunity to speak in chronological order according to a queuing system, without preferential treatment and in full transparency.

Use Twitter Name United Pentathlona furious campaign against the proposal included a letter to the IOC President Thomas Bach (GER), signed by the reigning Olympic champions Joseph Chong and Kate french (both GBRs) and a total of 46 Olympic medalists as early as 1960. Following the Congressional vote, the group tweeted:

“UIPM Congress: The UIPM has stifled debate, avoided asking questions, discussing or hearing criticism. The UIPM has demonstrated extremely poor governance, not befitting an Olympic sport. It was a shameful day for the sport. Not just for modern pentathlon, for all sports.

“We doubt that any SI, and the bar is very low, has ever been this bad or faced such a revolt from their community. The UIPM has no mandate. Not in our name.

Sunday, the Inside the games site reported that the national pentathlon federations of Denmark, Finland and Sweden wrote a joint letter to the UIPM complaining about the procedures used at the Congress, including:

“They have ignored and overridden the opinions of the overwhelming majority of the global modern pentathlon community and the athletes they are meant to serve.

“The President and the General Secretary have stifled debate at this Congress, using their control of Zoom to prevent questions being asked, discussions or criticisms being heard.”

Against all of this, the Danish national federation has already filed a complaint against the UIPM before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, insisting that the UIPM acted improperly in drawing up the request for the removal of riding.

At the same convention, Schormann was elected to an eighth term as president by a vote of 72 to 12, with no opposition. American John Helmick was re-elected Treasurer, also running unopposed. But there is now opposition from the athlete community, which is negative for any sport on the Olympic program today.

It is not finished; it is just beginning.

Rich Perelman
Editor

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