This may come as a shock to some of you, but it appears the 2016 Rio Olympics may have been influenced by some shady voting procedures. I’ll give you a moment to pick up your jaws from the floor before we continue.

According to BBC reporter Fernando Duarte, Brazilian Federal Police have what is being labeled “strong evidence” of vote buying in the bid to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro. Duarte reports “millions of dollars” were allegedly used to woo voters from African representatives in the 2009 International Olympic Committee.

Rio de Janeiro was one of the four cities chosen for the IOC’s short list of candidates in June 2008, with Madrid, Chicago, and Tokyo also in the running. Controversy had already come about during that decision making because Doha, Qatar had scored higher than Rio on a 25-point questionnaire from the IOC. Doha was said to have been left off because the city wanted to host the Summer Olympics in October rather than during the Olympics’ traditional timeframe. Rio eventually advanced to go head-to-head against Madrid, with Rio winning the bid with a vote of 66-32 in the final round of voting. Madrid had edged Rio in the first round, 28-26, but Rio pulled away in the second round, 46-29) before the final round awarded the games to Rio.

It is not unfathomable to see a city go from getting the second most votes in the first round of voting to pulling away in the later rounds. But with accusations of millions being paid for votes, one has to wonder if votes were cast in the first round to keep Chicago out of the running.  Given the shady history of the IOC, it would not be a stunning development to find out voters conspired against Chicago’s bid. Chicago received 18 votes in the first round of voting, and Rio picked up 18 votes in the second round. Weird coincidence? It could be, but the IOC has a history that is checkered enough to suggest there may have been some foul play in any of the voting rounds.

And it probably has not been the first or last time something like this has happened.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.