Blair Rio 2016 involvement condemned

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Brazil's most famous author has spoken out against the possibility of former UK prime minister Tony Blair becoming involved in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Paulo Coelho, who was part of the Rio delegation that travelled to Copenhagen to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose Rio as the host city for the Games ahead of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo, said he was "ashamed" when Rio delegates met Blair at the end of January 2010 amid speculation he could be hired as a special adviser. Blair's spokesman, Matthew Doyle, has insisted no deal has been finalised for Blair to act as an adviser for Rio 2016, but Rio state governor Sergio Cabral has suggested the man who helped London to secure the 2012 Games could be a shrewd addition to the Rio team. Coelho stated on his Twitter page: "We are going to pay Tony Blair as an adviser for Rio 2016? An irresponsible person who declared an illegal war? . . . I was in Copenhagen (for the final IOC vote on the host city) for the athletes, not for murderers. Not in my name, not in my country. . . Blair's appointment will lower Brazil's reputation in the eyes of the world. He has no standing in his own country, he failed as a negotiator in the Middle East, he lost his job because of the Iraq war and he has the blood of English soldiers on his hands. " Coelho later added in a newspaper interview that he felt "ashamed" when he saw Cabral give Blair a Brazil football shirt. Coelho, whose book The Alchemist sold 35m copies, has sold more than 100m books across 150 countries. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comThe Sport Briefing is updated as and when news happens, from across the global business of sport. The industry's biggest stories have an accompanying email alert, and The Sport Briefing sends subscribers a daily digest to give them an easy–to–read overview of the day's main events.

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