Temporarily stepped aside Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey has blocked the publication of a vital report into alleged ticket touting after threatening the OCI with a costly High Court injunction if it is released, writes Fiachra O Cionnaith, Irish Examiner.
The Olympic Council of Ireland's executive committee was forced to made the highly controversial decision not to publish the imminent report just after 10pm on Wednesday night, at the same time as it announced plans to appoint a new executive committee.
Under moves launched in the wake of the Rio ticket touting scandal, three investigations into what happened were set up in Ireland in addition to an ongoing criminal investigation in Brazil.
They are the Government's non-statutory inquiry due to be completed in Spring, the recently concluded Deloitte examination of the OCI's management and transparency structures; and a review of the Rio ticket sales processes by Grant Thornton on behalf of the OCI.
The State inquiry remains intact while the Deloitte management review has recommended that no OCI official serves more than eight years in one role - a situation that will force major overhaul's of the taxpayer-funded body.
However, despite being due for publication next month, the vital Grant Thornton review of Rio Olympics ticket sales and alleged conflicts of interest has now been frozen on foot of a legal letter to the OCI from its temporarily stepped aside president Pat Hickey.
In a statement on Wednesday night, an OCI spokesperson said:
"At a meeting of the OCI executive committee this evening the following decisions was taken:
"The Grant Thornton review into ticketing arrangements in Rio will be postponed and completed only following the conclusion of criminal proceedings against Mr Pat Hickey in Rio.
"This decision was taken following the receipt of a letter from Mr Hickey’s lawyers this week in which he threatened to make an application to the High Court for an injunction preventing the completion of the review.
"The executive committee has decided not to incur the very significant additional cost of defending any such legal proceedings.
"The executive committee restated its commitment to continuing full cooperation with the Moran non-statutory State inquiry.
"There will be an EGM of the OCI in January 2017 to elect a new executive committee.
"The completed Deloitte report on corporate governance arrangements at the OCI will be issued to OCI member federations next week in advance of January’s EGM."