Judge Orders OBS Equipment Return -- Rio Roundup

(ATR) Also: Refugee team chief receives United Nations award.

(ATR) Olympic Broadcasting Services is free to remove its equipment from Rio de Janeiro.

A court ruling in September froze all of OBS’ assets in Brazil following the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. The ruling was part of a lawsuit filed by the Rio Ministry of Public Work (MPT), which said that OBS did not comply with Brazilian labor laws during the Games.

OBS serves as the host broadcaster for an Olympic Games, and provides feeds for rights holders to use during broadcasts. OBS was created by the IOC, but exists as a separate corporation founded in Madrid.

A joint statement from OBS and the MPT says OBS will "keep an account open in Brazil as guarantee for any future payment due to the workers," in exchange for the release of equipment. The investigation into working conditions and payment of contract workers remains ongoing.

As part of the settlement, OBS will donate to local NGO "RioSolidario," which works to create employment, educational and professional opportunities for at risk communities.

Requests for comment from the MPT about the current status of the lawsuit were not returned.

Refugee Team Chief Gets UN Honor

Tegla Loroupe won the 2016 United Nations Person of the Year for her work with the refugee team at the 2016 Olympics.

Loroupe, through her Kenya-based foundation, urged the IOC to consider fielding a refugee team at the 2016 Olympics. After Thomas Bach announced the creation of the team, Loroupe helped identify five South Sudanese refugees to compete in athletics competitions at the Games. All five of the refugees were identified in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

While no refugee won a medal at Rio 2016, the team was seen as one of the major success stories of a Games besieged by controversy.

Loroupe is a world championship medalist in the 10,000 meters, and competed at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympic Games.

Written by Aaron Bauer

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