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  • Updated: Rio Olympic Venues Shut, Critic Campaigns for Brazilian NOC


    (ATR) A judge says poor maintenance could lead to tragedy at venues from the Rio Olympics.

    Barra Olympic Park. (ATR)
    The judge has ordered the closure of two principal venue clusters for Rio 2016, the parks at Barra and Deodoro.

    Judge Eugenio Rosa de Araújo says the continued use of the venues presents a scenario “that stands ready for the occurrence of tragedies".

    Due to alleged failure of the federal government under President Jair Bolsonaro to name administrators for the venues, the facilities are said to be in need of repair. The fire department has not been able to issue certificates of occupancy, but that apparently hasn’t stopped events such as Rock in Rio from taking place.

    The city of Rio says it will appeal the ruling. The city says that venues at the Barra Olympic Park have fire department certification through March 31, 2020. Rock in Rio insists that it has always obtained the licenses and permits needed for the annual event that draws hundreds of thousands of music fans.

    The IOC says it is keeping an optimistic perspective,regardless of the challenges.

    “The Olympic Games Rio 2016 venues were designed with specific long-term use in mind, including for the Olympic Park. Currently, due to a set of political and economic circumstances, not all aspects of the plan have been fully delivered. However, both the sport community and the local population have been making use of a vast majority of the Rio 2016 legacy venues," says a statement from the IOC to ATR.

    "The IOC will not speculate on hypothetical situations, but it is expected that, in the future, the various levels of government will, in their own areas of responsibility, fully complete what was a very strong plan to use the sport infrastructure, given the proven benefits that these facilities have brought to sports in Brazil and the people of Rio de Janeiro," says the IOC.

    Murray Declares Candidacy for Brazilian Olympic Committee

    Lawyer and activist Alberto Murray Neto resigns as chair of the Ethics Committee of the Brazilian Olympic Committee to run later this year for the presidency of the COB.

    Murray’s grandfather Major Sylvio de Magalhães Padilha was an IOC member for 31 years and served as COB president. He died in 2002.

    Murray regularly invoked the work of his grandfather as he criticized Nuzman’s tenure as COB president from 1996 to 2016. Murray opposed the 2007 Pan
    Alberto Murray Neto (ATR)
    American Games in Rio as well as the 2016 Olympics, both pet projects of Nuzman. Murray said the projects did not serve athletes in Brazil and were used by Nuzman to boost his international profile.

    Nuzman is on trial in Rio for facilitating bribes to IOC members to secure their votes for Rio 2016. After his arrest in 2016, Nuzman resigned from COB as well as his honorary IOC membership. His trial has yet to conclude.

    “I always attacked Carlos Nuzman based on facts, knowledge, information and evidence. I was right. Nuzman was arrested, resigned from the COB, will be banned from the IOC and will never again participate in anything related to the world of sports,” Murray wrote in 2017 about his relationship with Nuzman.

    Now Murray is parting ways with Nuzman’s successor at COB, Paulo Wanderley.

    “My struggle for ethics in the Olympic sport left me no other option,” Murray told Around the Rings this week.

    He confirms to ATR that he will be a candidate for the COB presidency. Election date is November 25.

    “I strongly disagreed with the way President of Brazilian NOC, Paulo Wanderley, led the change of by-laws, which led to major setbacks in governance and ethics,” says Murray.

    “I had the broad support of the sports community in my decision and will continue to work in the Olympic Movement. President Paulo Wanderley and COB are facing already three investigation procedures conducted by the State of Rio de Janeiro and Federal Public Prosecutor Offices, which reminds the terrible Nuzman era, who ended in prison,” he says.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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