Sacked Rio 2016 employee claims she was only doing what she was told
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
September 26 - A member of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee fired for allegedly stealing computer files from London 2012 during the Olympics has come forward to claim that she was only doing what was she told and that she had been dismissed unfairly.
Renata Santiago (pictured), who was part of the observer programme working at London 2012 in the National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Services Relations and Services department, claimed that she was "instructed to access the LOCOG system to study some documents needed" for her job.
She said "none of the information brought to Rio 2016" by her were "confidential" or "commercial," and were aimed solely at "improving our Games".
Santiago made the claim in a letter sent to Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman and published on UOL.com by Juca Kfouri, the journalist who broke the original story last week that ten employees had been fired because of the incident.
"I can not believe that you think I carried out or that I am capable of committing fraudulent acts...I have always shown you my loyalty and honesty," wrote Santiago, who has worked alongisde Nuzman for 12 years.
London was the third consecutive Olympics that Santiago has attended, having been at Athens 2004 representing the Brazilian Olympic Committee and in Beijing four years ago working for Rio's 2016 bid.
Rio 2016 even featured her work at London 2012 on their website - including highlighting how she had helped NOC delegations reach the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony by directing them in the tunnel - before she was fired.
"I say goodbye with the certainty that I have always done more than the best with integrity to pursue your dream, the dream of bringing and delivering the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which happened to be mine too and was taken away from me abruptly and unfairly," Santiago wrote in her letter to Nuzman.
The publication of Santiago's letter followed criticism from Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo of the actions of the sacked employees.
"The Rio 2016 Committee acted correctly to investigate the incident, along with the London Committee, to punish those responsible," said Rebelo.
"The behaviour of these people was unacceptable and does not express the attitude of trust and harmony which has marked the cooperation between the two countries in their preparation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Following Santiago's letter, Rio 2016 again claimed that the employees fired had not been following official instructions.
"They acted alone, without the knowledge of their immediate bosses or any other Rio 2016 leaders," Rio 2016 said in a statement.
"Although they allege that they had no intention of harming either organisation, they broke the principles of the mutual trust between the Committees.
"These workers didn't have to copy these files without authorisation.
"They could've simply requested them to the LOCOG, which had been cooperating and sharing information."
September 2012: Rio 2016 staff fired after stealing documents from London 2012