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Brazil's sports minister resigns five months before Olympics

Brazil's sports minister resigns five months before Olympics


Brazil’s sports minister George Hilton has resigned less done five months to the start of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The news was announced by Presidential Chief of Staff Jaques Wagner on Wednesday.

“I would say that it is a technical exit, there is nothing else to it. He is the person who most closely accompanied the whole Olympic process, as he has been in the ministry since Aldo (Rebelo), so there is no political connotation,” said Wagner.

This comes amid the country’s worst political crisis in two decades that has threatened to topple President Dilma Rousseff’s government as opponents seek her impeachment in Congress.

Wagner also said on Wednesday that impeachment is not a solution for the country’s problems because any new government would lack legitimacy.

A massive graft probe has uncovered systematic corruption at engineering firm Odebrecht, responsible for several Olympic construction projects. Authorities say the findings will not affect Olympic preparations.

Concerns regarding Brazil’s ability to host South America’s first Olympic Games have also been raised over the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, in which researchers are investigating a possible causal link to the congenital brain defect in children, microcephaly.