Olympic Council of Ireland finally answers questions on Pat Hickey arrest and the Rio ticket scandal

Olympic Council of Ireland finally answers questions on Pat Hickey arrest and the Rio ticket scandal

IT'S been an eventful Olympic season for Ireland, and not just for our sporting victories. 

What started with the arrest of Irishman Kevin Mallon, has now spawned into an international investigation into the ticket scandal and the arrest of Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey.

As warrants have been issued for the arrest of several directors of Pro10, the authorised ticket reseller, and also for four directors from THG, the hospitality group  where Kevin Mallon works, the ticket touting scandal is gaining momentum.

With Hickey due to give a deposition to police in Rio, the OCI has released a statement answering the questions they have been asked most frequently in relation to Mr Hickey and the scandal.

Here's what they had to say...

1. What is the status of Pat Hickey? 

Mr Hickey was arrested on Wednesday (August 17) as police had found evidence of a relationship between Mr Hickey and Marcus Evans, the owner of THG.

The OCI says: "a warrant of arrest for OCI President Pat Hickey was issued by Brazilian authorities. Mr Hickey complied fully with the terms of the warrant. Mr Hickey was taken ill as this warrant was served and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure."

The statement says Mr Hickey took the decision to "temporarily" step down as President of the OCI, International Olympic Committee member in Ireland, European Olympic Committee President, and Association of National Olympic Committees Vice President until the matter is resolved.

On August 18, Mr Hickey was discharged from hospital and accompanied to a police station to complete a deposition.

2. What is the OCI doing about it? 

The OCI says it "strictly adheres" to IOC rules on sale, resale and allocation of tickets, and they took "immediate action" as soon as it became known that tickets allocated to the OCI had been seized in a police operation. The OCI also said that they are currently carrying out "a full investigation" into how part of the OCI’s ticket allocation came to be in the possession of other third party sellers.

3. Who are Pro10 Sorts Management and how are the involved? 

Ticketing agents have to enter into an evaluation process to become an ATR (authorised ticket reseller).

"Pro10 approached the OCI to become the ATR in Ireland for Rio 2016. The OCI accepted their application and submitted their name to the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the IOC for their extensive evaluation process. The evaluation was completed and Pro10 was approved as Ireland’s ATR in November 2015."

4. How many tickets did the OCI get for Rio 2016? 

The OCI have said the number of tickets allocated to them is "commercially sensitive information and cannot be disclosed."

5. So, did the OCI sell tickets above cost price? 

The OCI has said it does not sell any tickets directly, however they have said "ATRs are entitled to mark up ticket prices in accordance with the terms of their contracts with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee."

6. Does the OCI have any agreement with THG for Rio 2016? 

"There was no agreement in place with THG for the Rio 2016 Games. THG was proposed by the OCI and appointed the ATR for the territory of Ireland by the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Organising Committees, but the Organising Committee rejected the application for the Rio 2016 Games. The OCI was subsequently approached by Pro10."