Christ the Redeemer is seen next to the Olympic rings on Copacabana Beach during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 6, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
July 5 (UPI) -- The former governor of Rio de Janeiro has told a Brazilian court he paid $2 million in bribes to buy votes at the International Olympic Committee to win the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Sergio Cabral, who's now serving a virtual life sentence for corruption and money laundering, said the payments bought him six to nine votes with the governing Olympic body.
Cabral said, according to attorney Marcio Delambert, former International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack demanded $1.5 million and his son $500,000 for their votes. Papa Diack had previously called the accusation "the biggest lie in the history of world sport."
The bribery investigation has also snarled former Brazil Olympic Committee head Carlos Arthur Nuzman, who was charged in connection with the scandal last October.
Cabral said the bribes were provided by Brazilian businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho and received by Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, Russian swimmer Aleksandr Popov and others. Bubka and Popov disputed the claims.
"I completely reject all the false claims made by the former Rio State governor who is currently serving a long prison sentence for corruption," Bubka said on Twitter Friday.
"My lawyers will write to Mr. Diack to ask him to explain the allegations of Mr. Cabral who wrongly claims in his testimony that Mr. Diack could secure my vote," he continued.
French prosecutors have charged former Namibian track star Frankie Fredericks in connection with the bribery case, along with its own investigations of the Diacks.
Mohamed Farah of Great Britain leaps in the air after winning the gold medal in the Men's 5000 meter Final at Olympic Stadium at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 20, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo