OCI denies it is to force Pat Hickey from global role

Pat Hickey

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has rubbished reports that they are going to initiate a process to have Pat Hickey removed from his role with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The OCI board met last night to discuss the fallout of the Judge Carroll Moran report into the Rio ticketing scandal, which has cost the organisation €1.5m to date.

The board also sought guidance if it can break a contract signed by Mr Hickey in 2016 with banned ticket agent THG, owned by businessman Marcus Evans.

But in relation to Mr Hickey, it denied a report that it was seeking to remove Mr Hickey from his senior post with the IOC. The OCI made it clear last night that it has no role in the matter, as Mr Hickey is not a representative of their body on the IOC board.

“We have not and are not triggering a process. We have no powers in this area,” a spokeswoman told the Irish Examiner.

“The OCI has not initiated any process to remove Mr Hickey from his international role nor will it. Mr Hickey’s membership of the IOC is a matter for the IOC only. The OCI board will meet this evening to consider the Moran report and related matters,” the OCI said.

A report in yesterday’s Irish Times had claimed the OCI would agree to forward a copy of the Moran report to the IOC ethics commission.

A spokesman for the IOC said its ethics commission procedure is still ongoing as are the criminal proceedings in Brazil and Mr Hickey’s self-imposed suspension still applies.

A statement to the Irish Examiner said: “Mr Hickey has suspended himself from all positions in the IOC and the Olympic movement. The self-suspension was confirmed by the IOC executive board. Mr Hickey’s self-suspension is still valid and we will not speculate on the potential next steps as the proceedings in Brazil and the IOC ethics commission procedure are still ongoing.”

The OCI board met last night to discuss the publication of the Moran Report into the Rio ticketing scandal and the wider ticketing arrangements for future games.

Led by new president Sarah Keane, the OCI board is expected to consider legal advice on the controversial deal done by Mr Hickey and THG for ticket sales at future Olympics until 2026.

At a press conference earlier this month, Ms Keane and other board members said the deal was never passed by the OCI’s executive committee.

The board is seeking legal advice on whether the controversial deal can be declared void.

Mr Hickey temporarily stepped down from his position with the IOC after he was charged with ticket touting, ambush marketing, theft, tax evasion and money laundering last year.

The report, conducted by Judge Carroll Moran, concluded the OCI’s ticket seller for Rio 2016, Pro10, was “not genuine” and was used to “disguise the continuing role” of the Marcus Evans’-owned agency THG, which had been rejected by the Rio organising committee as ticket sellers.

Should Mr Hickey return to the IOC’s executive board, he would be an ex-officio member of the OCI, Ms Keane said.

An Oireachtas committee has decided to ask Sports Minster Shane Ross to request Judge Moran to examine the deal agreed by Mr Hickey tying the OCI to THG.

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