Funding halted for Brazil Olympic venue following “evidence of fraud”

A federal court in Brazil has blocked funding for the construction of one of the main Olympic venues in Rio de Janeiro on suspicion of corruption, according to reports.

The news comes just four months before the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are due to begin in August.

State lender Caixa Economica Federal confirmed to Reuters that it had suspended payments to a consortium building the Olympic Deodoro complex, where 11 events, including BMX Biking and rugby sevens, will be held, after receiving a court order.

Reuters said the lender would not give a reason for the suspension because the case was under seal.

The news was first reported by the Globo news website G1 on 29 March. It said the suspended funds totaled $35m (128.5 million reais). According to G1, prosecutors in Rio said they found evidence of fraud in earthmoving services at the venue.

The Deodoro consortium is made up of builders Queiroz Galvão and OAS, a separate source told Reuters. The two companies are already caught up in the cascading Lava Jato ("carwash") corruption probe into state-run oil company Petrobras, construction firms and politicians.

According to Reuters, the company Queiroz Galvão said in an email that it could not comment as it had not yet been notified, while OAS declined to comment.

Prosecutors and federal court officials also declined to confirm the blocking of the funds, saying the case was under seal, Reuters reported.

However, the office of Brazil’s comptroller general confirmed in an email that it audited the projects at Deodoro and shared its findings with federal prosecutors, Reuters said.

Deodoro is Rio’s second-largest Olympic cluster with nine venues being built at a cost of 800 million reais. Seven have already been completed, with the shooting and equestrian venues still under construction.   

Photograph: Artist’s render of the BMX biking track, one of nine venues at the Deodoro Olympic cluster (

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