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Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Longtime Head Of Brazilian Olympic Committee, Sentenced To Over 30 Years For Corruption In Vote That Won Rio 2016 Olympics Over Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) -- Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the longtime head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee who helped Rio de Janeiro beat out Chicago for the 2016 Summer Olympics, has been sentenced to 30 years and 11 months in jail for corruption.

The Associated Press reported the sentence by Judge Marcelo Bretas was made public Thursday. Nuzman was convicted of corruption, criminal organization, money laundering and tax evasion for buying votes for Rio to host the 2016 Games, the AP reported.

Nuzman, 79, was a member of the International Olympic Committee for 12 years – including when his colleagues were allegedly bribed for the vote in 2009. He will not be jailed until all appeals are heard, the AP reported.

Three others – former Rio Gov. Sergio Cabral, businessman Arthur Soares, and former Rio committee director general of operations Leonardo Gryner – were also sentenced to jail time, the AP reported. They were accused along with Nuzman of bribing former International Association of Athletics Federations Lamine Diack, and his son, Papa Massata Diack, for votes for the 2016 Games, the AP reported.

Cabral told Judge Bretas he paid $2 million in exchange for six votes by the IOC, and said another $500,000 was paid to the younger Diack in exchange for three more votes, the AP reported.

Rio's bid beat Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid to host the 2016 Games in that 2009 vote, which was held in Copenhagen.

In Chicago, there were high hopes that it would be the culmination of two years of wining, dining, and grand plans. The U.S. Olympic Committee selected Chicago as the American contender for the games in April 2007, and plans were unveiled to build a new Olympic stadium in Washington Park on the South Side.

Events were also planned for Douglass Park, Grant Park, Soldier Field, Lincoln Park, and other locations. There was also a plan for an Olympic Village at the site of Michael Reese Hospital, which was set to close at the time. There was opposition to the proposal among some prominent Chicagoans, but Mayor Richard M. Daley was exuberant.

By 2009, Chicago was up against Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro for the games. Mayor Daley and Chicago 2016 chairman Pat Ryan wined and dined Olympic delegates, and enlisted Oprah Winfrey to help pitch the bid.

When it came time to make the final pitch in Copenhagen, President Barack Obama made a special trip to try to convince delegates Chicago should host the 2016 Games.

But that day, as an exuberant crowd of Chicagoans gathered in Daley Plaza, International Olympic Committee chairman Jacques Rogge announced, "The City of Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round." The city had been eliminated from contention in the first round, and the mood in the plaza quickly deflated.

After the loss, Mayor Daley said he was "shocked," and questions began to mount about whether he would run again in 2011. In September 2010, he announced that he would retire, and Rahm Emanuel was elected as his successor the following year.

Meanwhile, President Obama – many years later, but while still in office – hinted at possible corruption in sports when he described the 2016 Olympic vote as "a little bit cooked," the AP reported

The investigation in Brazil started in 2017, after the French newspaper Le Monde found IOC members had been bribed just three days before the vote.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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