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  • Alberto Murray Neto Announces Candidacy for COB President


    Written by Alberto Murray Neto

    COB Election Begins.

    I recently received the publication that the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) made on its website, announcing the opening of the deadline for the registration of plates for the president and vice president, as well as for the members of the Board of Directors. I confess that I read the article with a certain emotion. COB elections should be a normal thing. But it is not. For us to get this far, it was necessary for a president to be arrested, accused of corrupting IOC members and disrupted a gigantic corruption scheme involving the Rio Olympics in which many people who were above good and evil left the scene for back door.

    With modesty, I know that I played a relevant role in ending a tyranny so that today we can have free elections. Still a member of the COB general assembly (I was there for twelve years), I rebelled against the atrocities I witnessed. I started to write a Blog where I made - and do - all the complaints that, later, proved to be true. The repercussions of my articles were enormous, in Brazil and abroad. It was the first time that someone from within the COB had set out to question the status quo. Always grounded, I objected to the statute, the regulations, the methods, the people, the schemes and strictly everything that was not correct. Sport, Confederations, Athletes and Coaches were suffocated under the influence of autocracy and arrogance. I became the repository of the grievances and complaints of many presidents of Confederations, of Athletes, of sports people who were afraid to contest, under penalty of being morally and financially annihilated.

    I know what I went through. It was a moment of pathetic pride, in which the leaders wanted to shove the slogan “Viva a Sua Paixão” down our throats, as if that Olympic adventure were the solution to Brazil's problems. The Olympic chief tried to cling to me as an anti-patriot. They spent money from the people so that the Public Prosecutor's Office in Rio de Janeiro would sue me for "demeaning the religious symbol". It was an attempt of intimidation so ridiculous that the Court of Justice of Rio closed the criminal action through a habeas corpus. All because I published a cartoon of Cristo Redentor with a bulletproof vest, published in the media, referring to urban violence that scared the international community.

    I never diminished. He never falls for temptations, which I was also offered to change sides. As I wrote in the Open Letter that I delivered to the COB on January 9 of this year, when I resigned as member and president of the Ethics Council, to which I was elected by a large majority of votes: I do not negotiate principles.

    I greet and thank everyone who supported me at that moment of struggle, many of them without being able to appear. It was leaders, athletes, combative journalists and some parliamentarians who invited me to debate the issue in the Federal Senate. In fact, it was on that day that the then head of our Olympic Movement fled the debate face to face with me. He didn't have the courage to talk to me on national television (the session was being broadcast live on TV Senado. Do a search on the internet. My speech is available).

    A very remarkable moment in the fight against cesarean section was when the COB tried to censor the friend Professor Katia Rubio, even threatening her with arrest, for the fact that she used the expression “Olímpicos” in a children's book, which would be distributed in public schools. We do not accept intimidation and, as the teacher's lawyer, I acted in such a way that the aggressors of freedom had no choice but to step back and ask for forgiveness. The matter was debated at the IOC and the episode had very bad repercussions for the then president of the COB.

    Today I am a candidate for president of the COB. Everyone knows and, therefore, I will not repeat here the reasons that made me resign from the Ethics Council. I never strayed from my beliefs. I never agreed with what is not correct.

    Like everything I do, my campaign started in February, with absolute transparency. Our group has prepared a POSITIVE AGENDA that covers all sectors of Olympic sport and proposes significant changes in the concepts that preside over the COB, its relationship with Confederations, Athletes, Coaches and society in general. He proposes to make the COB for Brazil and return that it be the moral reserve of the sport. It is the first time in history that such a document has been made so that it can be democratically debated by society.

    It was not easy to get to where we are. It was ten years of daily struggle, in the uncompromising defense of the most legitimate interests of sport and Athletes. I would like to thank all the leaders of Confederations, Athletes, Clubs and sports people who have discussed the POSITIVE AGENDA with me and contributed to improving it.

    Democracy in sport has come a long way. But it is not definitively consolidated. And people know, more than that, they are sure that in order to definitively bury that nefarious past, we have to take a few more steps forward.

    Alberto Murray Neto
    Murray - Advogados
    PLG International Lawyers
    Ciragan Office Tower
    Al. Ministro Rocha Azevedo, No. 38,
    12 andar,
    01410-002, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
    Tel: + 55 11 3132-9400

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