Pat Hickey could remain on OCI board

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will examine the position on the board of its former president, Pat Hickey, in January.

Pat Hickey could remain on OCI board

Mr Hickey is currently self-suspended from his ordinary membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as he faces charges relating to alleged ticket-touting at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

However, if he decides to remain on as an ordinary member, it entitles him to sit on the board of the OCI, under the IOC’s charter which applies to 206 countries.

Yesterday, the OCI held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to bring in a raft of changes to its constitution and said it would separately consider the matter of Mr Hickey.

The OCI’s honorary general secretary, Sarah O’Shea, said it had consulted with a lawyer from the IOC on the issue.

“We met with the IOC lawyer and he’s explained that he’s very happy for us to proceed as is tonight with the EGM,” she said. “There are other changes that need to be brought through.

“We’ve agreed with him that we will deal with the IOC specific change and a couple of other small tweaks, which are not contentious, at an EGM in January.

“So we are going to have to call an EGM at the end of January to deal with that matter.”

The executive committee of the OCI had already written to the IOC in an attempt to change the situation whereby an IOC member would automatically sit on the board of the Irish body.

The IOC said the issue was bound by its charter and could not accept the OCI’s proposal.

The OCI’s current president, Sarah Keane, said it will deal with the issue in “due course”.

Depending on the outcome of Mr Hickey’s trial for alleged ticket-touting, he could decide to leave his position with the IOC which would mean the matter on the Irish board may never arise.

“We will deal with the issue of an IOC member for Ireland in due course if that’s what we need to do,” said Ms Keane.

Last night, the OCI voted in a string of new changes to its constitution, including term limits for board members.

Other changes brought in by the OCI relate to elections and ticket selling.

“We’ve advocated that the executive committee will not look after election procedures going forward. That will be done by an external firm of accountants who will be qualified auditors as well,” said Ms Keane.

“So we will bring in an external firm to do all elections so it’s completely independent.”

In relation to tickets, the OCI has parted ways with its previous ticketing agent THG, even though there were contracts relating to the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2026.

For the upcoming Winter Olympics, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February, the OCI is working with an in-house professional.

“We have engaged an individual to work with us who has an expertise and experience in ticketing,” said Ms Keane.

Regarding the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, she said: “We intend, at this juncture, to engage another authorised ticket reseller.”

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