IOC member Pat Hickey arrested in Rio
Irish member of the International Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey was arrested this morning in Rio in a line of arrests that cracks down on reselling of Olympic tickets.
Updated on 18 August 2016
Patrick Hickey, IOC executive commitee member and president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) as well as of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) was arrested by police on Wednesday 17 August while at his hotel in Rio, Brazilian media reports.
Patrick Hickey has temporally stepped aside from all his Olympic roles after his arrest. As RTÉ News reports, Hickey is facing three charges of facilitating ticket touting, formation of a cartel and ambush or illicit marketing.
According to the Irish Independent, the OCI is currently going through the information and will issue a statement shortly.
'We are aware of the reports but at this stage we are still trying to get some clarity on the situation. It is still early morning here so we are trying to gather some information and when we do that we will release a statement through our normal channels," a spokesman for the OCI told Independent.ie.
The ticket scandal involving the OCI has been rolling for some time and reportedlt involves the reselling of tickets earmarked for the Irish Olympic Committee well above face value. On 12 August, the OCI issued a statement saying that “there is absolutely no suggestion of misconduct or impropriety by the OCI or any of its staff. The OCI strictly adheres to the IOC regulations around ticket allocation, sale and re-sale”.
As RTÉ News reported, IOC is “trying to establish the facts”. Mark Adams said the IOC would fully co-operate with any police investigation and will wait to see what allegations are made.
Hickey’s arrest is linked to that of Kevin James Mallon, director of THG Sports, former Authorized Ticket Reseller for Ireland, earlier this month also in Brazil. At the time of his arrest, Mallon was allegedly in possession of around 1000 Olympic Games tickets which the police suspected were to be sold at $7,800 each, writes the BBC.
According to CNN, it is not the first time Civil Police in Brazil have arrested members of THG. Company’s CEO James Sinton was arrested by police in relation to touting FIFA World Cup tickets in 2014. Tickets reselling for a higher price than the face value is illegal in Brazil.