The longtime president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, who temporarily stood down following his arrest during the Rio Games in connection with a probe into ticketing, issued a statement in which he said he had just received formal notification from the Brazilian authorities of the charges laid against him.
“I intend to face all the charges and to fight each and every one of them,” he said. “I am completely innocent of all such charges and I will also vigorously defend my good name and character that I have spent my lifetime building through voluntary service for numerous sporting bodies.”
Last Friday, Mr Hickey was charged by Judge Juliana Leal de Melo from the Special Court for Supporters and Large Events. Another Irishman, Kevin Mallon from THG Sports, is among nine others also facing charges linked to Olympics tickets, including ticket touting and ambush marketing.
The judge also ordered that passports for Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon be retained. However, in the statement issued last night Mr Hickey said: “For clarity, I am not under house arrest as, like with so many things with this case, has been misreported by the media.
“I believe in the Brazilian judicial system and I am confident that I will be discharged of all accusations.
“This has been a life-changing experience for me, my wife, my four children, and my five grandchildren and my priority is to recover my health and see my family as soon as possible.
“I have been very heartened and humbled by the outpouring of support, letters, texts, and emails from the thousands of people in Ireland and from the international sporting world.”