RIO DE JANEIRO - 10 employees from the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee were fired for stealing confidential information from their counterparts at the London committee during the Games this past summer.
This is the first scandal involving the next Olympics, which is still three years and 11 months away. The two committees of the British and Brazilian games are scheduled to meet in Rio later this fall.
The contents extracted from the stolen files were not divulged. Blogger Juca Kfouri, on the UOL website, wrote that they included data on strategic action and documents about security. Members from both committees worked together on the Knowledge Transfer program from July 27 to August 12.
Kfouri reports that after finding out about the accessed data, Sebastian Coe, president of the London 2012 committee called Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian committee, demanding actions and threatening to take the incident to the courts.
Under pressure from the British side, Rio 2016 announced that the 10 employees would be soon dismissed. They are not going to be sued or charged with crimes. The Brazilian organizers did not reveal names or job titles. It was reported that none of them occupied senior management positions. Although the problem was identified during the Olympic Games, the group concluded its tasks and was dismissed after coming back to Brazil.
According to the Rio committee, the documents were not classified, but the Knowledge Transfer program forbids copying without previous authorization. The British organizers said the information could be seized in the case of an official request by the Brazilian side.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) kept its distance from the issue. “This is a topic for Rio and London, they have to deal with it”, said Mark Adams, spokesperson for IOC. Brazilian Ministry of Sports refused to comment on the case.