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By Ben Tavener, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Sports Minister Orlando Silva, who recently joined a string of ministers in Dilma Rousseff’s government to become embroiled in corruption scandals, was fighting for his career yesterday as he addressed the Senate.

Sports Minister Orlando Silva, Brazil News
Brazil Sports Minister Orlando Silva faced the Senate in a bid to clear his name, photo by Jose Cruz/ABr.

Veja magazine has accused the minister of embezzling money meant for the “Segundo Tempo” program, which allocates government money to NGOs that encourage young people from poor backgrounds to get involved in sports.

Silva said he would debunk the “farcical” allegations made against him, which were intended to “remove him from the Ministry by force”.

While the minister was speaking to the Senate, the whistle-blower – military police officer João Dias – was being interviewed by federal police, reassuring them that he had “material proof” to back up his claims.

Brazilian media has now turned its attention to a new figure in the story: former sports minister and Federal District governor Agnelo Queiroz, who is being investigated for allegedly embezzling from the same sports program.

Silva – the only Communist Party minister in the governing coalition – is currently in charge of Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.

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