RIO DE JANEIRO — The president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee was arrested on Thursday amid an investigation into a vote-buying scheme to bring the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
Carlos Nuzman, who is also an honorary International Olympic Committee member, was held for questioning last month by Brazilian and French authorities. They said he was a central figure in channeling at least $2 million to Lamine Diack, a former IOC member from Senegal who helped secure votes when Rio was picked in 2009 by the IOC.
Brazilian authorities have said the behind-the-scenes dealings to win the vote amounted to a ‘‘criminal organization,’’ led by Sergio Cabral, the former governor of Rio de Janeiro who has been jailed on a different corruption conviction.
Securing the games for Rio was just the first step in the massive scheme, according to Nuzman’s arrest order. Winning the Olympic bid led to massive public investment in infrastructure projects and services contracts, opening a pipeline of money that was used to reward friends and allies and pay bribes.
Leonardo Gryner, director-general of operations for the organizing committee, was also arrested on Thursday.
Nuzman’s lawyer, Nelio Machado, told news portal G1 that being detained like this was ‘‘harsh and unusual’’ and denied there had been a vote-buying scheme.
In Nuzman’s last 10 years as Brazilian Olympic Committee president, his net worth increased 457 percent, investigators said.