Rio police want to question IOC head over Ireland's ticket allocation

Rio police want to question IOC head over Ireland's ticket allocation

Rio de Janeiro police investigating a ticket-scalping case say they want the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to explain why Ireland's allocation of Summer Games tickets increased.

Police investigators say the Olympic Council of Ireland received 296 more tickets after exchanges between IOC head Thomas Bach and high-ranking IOC member Pat Hickey.

Last night, police said they needed to interview Bach as a witness after his name appeared several times in emails discovered during the inquiry.

Hickey is facing charges in Brazil In connection with ticket scalping, conspiracy, and ambush marketing in a case that broke during the Olympics.

Investigator Aloysio Falcao said they found a text from July 2015 sent from Hickey to Bach requesting more tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for football, basketball and 100-metre finals.

Bach cancelled his trip to the opening of the Paralympics in Rio on Wednesday. Police said he would have been summoned to speak to investigators.

Meanwhile, police in Brazil have named Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) sports director Martin Burke as a new suspect in their ticket touting probe.

A hard drive seized from the OCI’s office in Rio was his responsibility and contained a file named ‘THG additional tickets’, said detective Ricardo Barboza de Souza. THG Sports is the British hospitality firm at the centre of the scandal.

OCI president Pat Hickey, 71, and THG Sports executive Kevin James Mallon, 36, have already been charged by prosecutors in Brazil.

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