Published: Tue, August 30, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Olympics-OCI's new head among six whose passports seized by Brazil police

Olympics-OCI's new head among six whose passports seized by Brazil police

The OCI had nominated THG to be its official ticket vendor for the games but that application was rejected by organisers meaning THG was unauthorised to sell tickets or hospitality packages for the event within Brazil or overseas.

Patrick Hickey the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland and member of the IOC was arrested last week accused of being part of an illegal ticket sales scam at the 2016 Olympics, in Rio. In Kilty's room, police found 228 tickets, which the Irishman told police were reserved for athletes but had been left unused.

"The OCI personnel were asked to present for questioning at a local police station on Tuesday", the statement said. That arrest set into a motion a whole chain of events which threatens to bring serious reputational damage to Ireland and Irish sport whatever the eventual court verdict.

The OCI is to appoint an worldwide accountancy firm to conduct an independent review of ticketing arrangements in Rio, with the report given to the judge.

Brazilian police revealed the details at a news conference today.

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On hearing the news of Hickey's arrest, the 1994 World Cup victor wrote on social media: "And the ticket mafia gets caught! Well, four years ago I had already told the government".

Three Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) officials had their passports, phones and laptops seized by authorities in a raid of the delegations' offices, based at the Olympic village, on Sunday (21 August). Tickets, including for the Rio opening ceremony, with a face value of about $1,400 dollars were offered for sale at $8,000.

A Mongolian weightlifter was disqualified from the Rio Olympics on the last day ahead of the closing ceremony in what was the Court of Arbitration's final decision during the Games, sport's highest court said on Sunday. He threw on a robe and was taken into custody but even then there was more drama as Mr. Hickey complained that he was feeling unwell and had to be taken to a nearby hospital first to be checked over before he was taken to jail where he is still under arrest.

It continued: "THG would like to see that an independent inquiry, under the chair of a respected Irish legal figure, be actioned expeditiously".

Investigators say a company, Pro 10 Sports Management, was created to facilitate the transfer of tickets between the Irish Olympic committee and THG, an unauthorized ticket seller.

The OCI has pledged to co-operate fully with the State inquiry.

If the judge rejects the case, it goes no further, and Mr Hickey would be free to leave Brazil.

There is a law in Brazil banning ticket touting.

Brazilian police have said that they're hoping to seize the passports of three other people with links to the OCI.

Police sources have confirmed that they sought to interview Mr Henihan, Mr Kilty and Mr Martin to establish what they know about an alleged ticket touting ring.

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