Olympics

Three More OCI Members Have Their Passports Seized In Rio

Three More OCI Members Have Their Passports Seized In Rio

There has been another development in the ticket-touting controversy engulfing the Olympic Council of Ireland, as three OCI members have had their passports seized by police on Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro.

A statement from the OCI, released on Sunday afternoon Irish time around 5.35pm, indicated that although "no arrests were made" when police arrived at the "OCI offices in the Olympic village" and "at OCI accommodation outside of the village", Brazilian police had seized phones and laptops belonging to the officials as well as requesting that they present themselves for questioning.

The statement finished by saying that also seized by police was the "allocation of unused official tickets" in the OCI offices which "had been made available for athletes' families and friends".

RTE are reporting that the search was confirmed by a Brazilian police chief, Ricardo Barboza de Souza.

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This most recent development comes as former OCI president Pat Hickey shares a prison cell with Kevin Mallon, director of THG, the sports hospitality company accused of involvement in selling Games tickets illegally. Hickey has denied any wrongdoing but faces a battle to clear his name as he is charged with helping to organise these illegal sales; he has also been forced to resign from all of his international Olympic roles as well as from his presidency of the OCI. Hickey is being refused bail because the Brazilian authorities are afraid that Hickey might seize the opportunity to flee back to Ireland.

The OCI's board-including Sonia O'Sullivan and John Delaney-are set to meet late on Sunday evening to discuss the ticket touting controversy as well as the arrest of Hickey.

(RTE)

Conall Cahill

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