POSTED: August 17th 2016

Olympics: IOC EB Member Patrick Hickey arrested in Rio 2016 ticket touting scandal

Patrick Hickey's credentials confiscated by Rio police © Jamil Chade Twitter
Patrick Hickey's credentials confiscated by Rio police © Jamil Chade Twitter

The arrest document © Jamil Chade Twitter
The arrest document © Jamil Chade Twitter

Jamil Chade's new media pass that was reinstated after they revoked his original one © Jamil Chade Twitter
Jamil Chade's new media pass that was reinstated after they revoked his original one © Jamil Chade Twitter

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Olympic Movement was shocked to wake up this morning and find that well known Olympic official Patrick Hickey had been arrested by Brazilian police in connection with a ticket scalping scandal taking place at the Rio 2016 Games.

Hickey serves on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board as representative of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and is the head of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI). 

As well the Irishman serves on the IOC Rio 2016 Coordination Commission overseeing the Olympic Games. 

He was arrested for 'ticket-touting, forming a cartel, illicit marketing' in connection with the ongoing investigation into the OCI's resellers.

THG Sports were OCI's ticketing agents for London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympics however Pro10 is the one for Rio 2016. According to the police report a Brazilian judge ordered the arrest of Hickey, Pro 10 executives Michael Glynn, Eamonn Collins and Ken Murray in relation to THG Sports being accused of reselling Olympic tickets at inflated prices.

The OCI issued a statement: The OCI is aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further. Any updates will be made via the OCI website.

The 71-year-old was arrested at the official IOC hotel the Windsor Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca early this morning and reports in the press revealed that he was taken to the local Samaritano hospital feeling sick after he was detained.

Olympic media journalist Jamil Chade, who writes for O Estado de Sao Paulo, broke the story this morning and posted updates on his Twitter account @JamilChade. 

Italian news service ANSA reports that fello IOC member from Italy Mario Pescante was shocked to hear the news of Hickey's arrest. He said, "I hope it isn't true, it would be a shock for everyone.

"Last night we had dinner together at Casa Italia, he was very calm: even though he knew there was an investigation going on." 

The Irish Times reported that Hickey had a meeting with Ireland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, TD, last Sunday evening and refused to allow independent members to their council carrying out the investigation leaving the Minister shaking his head and raising suspicions. 

The Minister issued his own statement to clarify after the incident:

A meeting was held between Minister Shane Ross, TD, and his official, Mr. Ken Spratt and two representatives of the OCI, Mr. Pat Hickey and Mr. Willie O'Brien this evening.

At the meeting, the Minister suggested that it would be beneficial for both the OCI and the Minister if the OCI would add independent members to their panel investigating the current tickets controversy. The Minister emphasised the necessity of independence and rigour in such investigations, in terms of establishing their credibility.

The OCI refused the Minister's request, citing legal advice.

Furthermore, the OCI declined to answer any questions about the recent tickets controversy on the grounds that it might prejudice the case before the Brazilian courts. The OCI also stated that it would not provide any information to any third party, including any independent inquiry the Minister might establish, until such time as the case concludes.

While the Minister accepts that due process and natural justice must take its course, he does not accept that there is any legal basis for refusing to accept independent members on the OCI's inquiry.

Tomorrow (Monday), Minister Ross proposes to discuss the matter with Minister of State for Sport and Tourism, Mr. Patrick O'Donovan, TD, and will also raise the matter with the Attorney General. A decision will be made on the basis of these consultations.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Patrick Hickey · Rio 2016 · tickets

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.