In response to allegations of fraud and the removal of 4 officials (including federation President Coaracy Nunes), the Brazilian swimming federation has suspended payments to its employees and the organizing of national championship events.
It’s been a season of turmoil for the CBDA, the federation governing Brazil’s swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming. The Federal Public Ministry of Brazil announced a few months ago that it had discovered evidence of financial fraud within the federation. Making allegations of embezzlement and corruption, the ministry requested that Nunes be removed from his post as president.
Though Nunes claimed that the allegations were part of a targeted attempt to hurt his chances in next year’s election for CBDA president, the Federal Court of Sao Paulo ruled last week in favor of the ministry request, removing Nunes and three other officials from their positions. Nunes had been the president of the CBDA since 1988, and was set to run for re-election in a term that would last until 2020. The allegations and resulting legal scuffle caused the federation’s sponsors to question their future support. Correios, the Brazilian postal service, had been a longtime sponsor of the CBDA and several other national sporting federations. Correios indicated that it was considering ending its sponsorship, but wound up renewing the deal at a much lower rate a few days ago.
In response to losing the 4 officials, the CBDA has now cut off payments to employees and has suspended its national championship meets, according to Globo.com. The federation says it can’t draw from its accounts right now, while the legal system is still investigating the fraud allegations. The CBDA also suggested that those accused of fraud be allowed to defend themselves against the allegations. In a rough translation of the Portuguese: “If there is some kind of irregularity, it is very important that everything be clarified and be given the broad rights of defense,” the federation said in a statement. “If there is no fraud, then things will continue after due recantation of those accused without reason.”
The full CBDA statement said the investigation into the alleged fraud was conducted without the involvement of the federation, and that the federation itself wasn’t able to clarify any of the alleged irregularities in the books. The federation also argued that it was unfair to punish the five sports it governs over the issue, and expressed its hope for a just conclusion as soon as it could be attained. You can read the full statement, in its original Portuguese, by following this link.