Ross to refer ticketing report and OCI to corporate enforcers

So what happens next?

Transport Minister Shane Ross now says hewill refer the report on ticket touting and the OCI tocorporate enforcers to look at the ticket-selling agents. An international Olympics body will also look at it. The Oireachtas Committee on Sport will alsoconsider whether to go down theroad of compelling former OCI president Pat Hickeyto answer questions.

The OCI, while it grapples with reform, will askauditors to look at amounts agreed and recorded by the OCI for the London and Rio games. It also wants to try and get out ofcontractslocked into until 2026 with agents THG, deals secretly struck by Mr Hickeywithout the OCI board.

Will Pat Hickey then answer questions?

Mr Hickey’s legaladvisors have said if he were to co-operate with the committee or the Moran reporton ticket touting he could potentially affect the criminal proceedings by authorities in Brazil, who arrested him during the Rio games last year.

Mr Hickey though could potentially answer questions about the contracts agreed with banned ticket reselling agents THG until 2026 and how these were agreed.

How do we know this will not happen again?

The OCI, under its new president, is undergoing reform. It has signed up to governance guidelines, will be subject to greater scrutiny and the council has apologised to athletes and the public after the Rio ticketing scandal.

Nonetheless, around half a million euro in funding is being withheld by the Sports Council until it can see clear evidence of those reforms. The OCI must also prove itself on the international stage and has yet to get a sponsor for the 2020 Olympic games.

Who is going to be held accountable?

The Rio scandal has badly damaged the OCI, its ability to lead and of course Ireland’s reputation in the world’s sports arena.

However, the most important thing is that our competitors, our athletes emerge unscathed. The ticketing fiasco potentially leaves the OCI tied into contractual arrangements with a selling agent at the centre of the scandal, THG. It remains unclear what will happen to this company.

It is also unknown how much tickets were sold on for and without further information and the co-operation of others, it will be hard to get more complete answers.


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