Olympic tickets: Scandal must be cleared up

THE Olympic Council of Ireland finds itself in a murky and sorry mess at the Olympic Games in Rio. 
Olympic tickets: Scandal must be cleared up

Following the scandal surrounding the drugs ban imposed on an Irish boxer, the council is under a cloud after two people were arrested on charges of fraudulently selling tickets to the events. Allegedly, the tickets were allocated to the OCI which has now opened an “immediate investigation” into the whole affair.

While no wrongdoing is imputed to members of the OCI, serious questions remain to be answered. For example, how did the Irishman who has been arrested get hold of the tickets? And why is the international sports hospitality company THG Sports, the company for whom he works, defending him so vigorously? It must also be asked if he worked with THG when it handled ticket sales for the London Olympics four years ago and whether or not he had any direct or indirect contact with the OCI?

According to the OCI, it has no knowledge of him and is treating “this matter with the utmost seriousness”.

Obviously, the sooner the scandal is cleared up the better for all concerned. Not alone has it left a slur hanging over the image of Irish athletics, it has also inflicted serious damage on the reputation of Ireland as a sporting nation. The national interest is of far greater importance than the profit motives of seedy ticket touts who prey on amateur sports for personal gain.

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