Boxing

Conlan, Barnes And Olive Loughnane Respond Furiously To Latest Ticket Scandal Revelations

Conlan, Barnes And Olive Loughnane Respond Furiously To Latest Ticket Scandal Revelations

The Rio ticket scandal rumbles on, and it's leaving a sour taste in the mouths of both the Irish public and some of the nation's leading athletes.

At a press conference last night, Rio police revealed they had seen emails between Pat Hickey and Marcus Evans discussing the sale of tickets at this summer's Olympics.

THG, a sports hospitality group owned by Ipswich Town chairman Evans, had been the authorised ticket reseller for OCI allocated tickets at both the 2012 London Olympics and the Sochi winter games in 2014.

The OCI wished to continue this arrangement for the Rio games. However, the Rio authorities rejected THG's application to act as a ticket re-seller for these games.

The OCI then signed a deal with Lucan-based company Pro 10 to act as their ticket re-seller for these games.

Sinéad O'Carroll of The Journal would subsequently report from Rio that police discovered 228 tickets in Kevin Kilty's room, which he claimed had been allocated to families but were left unused. While Rio police said they'd seek to validate this with Olympics organisers, two high profile Irish athletes reacted furiously to the revelations.

Four-time Olympian and 2009 world champion race walker Olive Loughnane replied to O'Carroll that, across the four Olympic Games she partook in, she ever only received one ticket for family members to watch her 20km event. Worse still, she revealed that she was forced to choose whether to give this solitary ticket to either her mother or her father.

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Irish boxing double-act Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan echoed the frustrations of their race walking counterpart, telling Twitter how their families were denied entry to the Olympic Village by OCI officials.

There's something inherently heartbreaking about an athlete's parents being unable to watch their child perform at the pinnacle of their craft; investing such time and money over the years, only to be told tickets are scarce, is doubtless a horrible pill to swallow for athletes and their families alike.

The only guarantee is that we'll hear more stories like that of Loughnane and Barnes in the coming days as the scandal rumbles on in Rio.

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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