OCI de­nies it is to force Hickey from global role

■ Olympic Council board rub­bished re­ports it was try­ing to have Hickey re­moved from top IOC post

Irish Examiner - - News - Daniel McCon­nell

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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