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Brazil prosecutors probe Olympic velodrome, equestrian contracts

Cycling - 2016 Rio Olympics Test Event - Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 26/6/2016 - A view of the Velodrome during media visit. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
Cycling - 2016 Rio Olympics Test Event - Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 26/6/2016 - A view of the Velodrome during media visit. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating the process by which companies were selected to complete work on the Rio de Janeiro Olympic velodrome and equestrian venues.

State prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro said in an emailed statement the probe was sparked by press reports that private construction companies Zadar and Engetecnica were contracted without a public bidding process.

Zadar and Engetecnica could not immediately be reached for comment. Rio's city government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal prosecutors and police are investigating a multitude of Olympic projects and legacy infrastructure works for alleged corruption.

Most of the building for the Olympics, which will run Aug. 5-21, has been carried out by construction firms ensnared in Brazil's biggest corruption scandal, a kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras [PETR4.SA].

Zadar and Engetecnica were hired by Rio's city government to finish construction after the original builders were dismissed for failing to deliver the work on time.

Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported last week that the two companies belong to Paulo Roberto Moraes, the father of the leader in the state legislature for the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, to which Mayor Eduardo Paes also belongs.

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Richard Chang)

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