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Live Blog: OCI President Pat Hickey Arrested At His Hotel In Rio

Live Blog: OCI President Pat Hickey Arrested At His Hotel In Rio
By Gavin Cooney Updated

OCI president and IOC member Pat Hickey has been arrested by Brazilian police this morning in connection with the discovery of a number of tickets being illegally touted for Olympic events. The tickets were earmarked for the OCI.  The story is developing and you can follow it here. 

4.56 pm 

Shane Ross has confirmed he is returning to Ireland as "quickly as possible".

Today, I learned from our ambassador here in Brazil that a second Irish citizen has been arrested in connection with the Brazilian authorities' investigation into alleged ticket touting. I understand that person has accepted consular assistance and our Consul General is engaging with him.

Given the seriousness of this matter, and in the interests of taking swift and decisive action, I will be returning to Dublin as quickly as possible.

4.40 pm

Some elements of the story we've explored in further depth today.

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Rory McIlroy tweeted #karma and quickly deleted it. It might well have been aimed at Pat Hickey.

An email between Hickey and his lawyer was leaked to the media, in which Hickey was advised to put Minister Shane Ross "back in his box".

4.19 pm 

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Pat Hickey's bio on the OCI website.

4.14 pm 

Noel Rock TD has been tweeting:

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4.12 pm 

Here's Pat Hickey's arrest warrant, because virtually everything about this is in the public domain:

4.08 pm

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The company Pro 10 at the heart of this matter have issued a statement saying that the "allegation that a portion of OCI’s Family & Friends tickets were made available by (us) for general sale is utterly untrue and completely without foundation".

Here is the statement in full:

In light of reports within the media of allegations made against PRO10 in its dealings as Irish ATR, we would like to again clarify that PRO10 has at all times acted properly and fully in line with ATR guidelines.
The allegation that a portion of the OCI's Family and Friends tickets were being made available by PRO10 for general sale is utterly untrue and completely without any foundation.
PRO10 is appalled that allegations are being made against the company without any attempt to ascertain the facts.
The Brazilian authorities seem to be dealing with these extremely serious allegations through the media and no contact has been made with PRO10.
Notwithstanding, PRO10 utterly rejects any insinuation that they have been involved in selling tickets at inflated prices, ticket "touting" or "scalping". We abhor such practices.
We will vigourously defend our reputation and will contest fully any of these unsubstantiated and false allegations. We are already taking legal advice on how we deal with these unfounded allegations.
PRO10 has acted with integrity and has been dragged into an issue in relation to ticketing simply because of its status as ATR.
All tickets sold by PRO10 as the Irish ATR for the Rio 2016 Olympics were sold fully in line with the ATR guidelines.

These tickets were made available for sale through the authorised ATR process and were sold to legitimate customers of PRO10 at face value plus the allowed ATR reseller fee.

4.00 pm

Elsewhere in Brazil, the IOC are hosting a press conference. To remind you, while Pat Hickey is the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, he is also a member of the Executive Board of the IOC.

The repeated theme throughout their press conference is that "this is primarily a matter for the Olympic Council of Ireland", while stating that Pat Hickey was entitled to presumption of innocence:

The IOC were unaware the arrest was going to be made:

The IOC have yet to be approached by police, and confirmed that they wil co-operate if/when they are approached.

They were also asked as to how they felt that one of the enduring images of the game was one of their senior members answering the door naked to the police, the IOC representative replied "thanks for that".

The issue of the number of spectators at events versus tickets sold reared its head also. The organisers said that this was not connecte to the issue of touting.

They were also asked about the amateur boxing controversy. Following Michael Conlan's defeat last night, the AIBA have decided to send a number of judges home as "less than a handful of decisions were not at the level expected". The full statement can be read here. 

3.28 pm

Good grief. This is the day the news melted.

An email between Pat Hickey and his lawyer has been published, detailing a plan to put Sports Minister Shane Ross "back in his box". This is essentially the outlining of Hickey's plan of action ahead of the meeting with Ross. The sports minister later described his being "absolutely stunned" at the response during the meeting, and that talks had "met a brick wall."

3.24 pm 

We were informed this morning that Hickey was accused of "three crimes" by Brazilian police. Those charges have now been confirmed.

Pat Hickey has been formally charged by Brazilian police with ticket-touting, forming a cartel and illicit marketing.

A house arrest is also possible, owing to Mr. Hickey's health.

3.02 pm

Conor Neville of this website has written a profile of Pat Hickey, if you want to learn more about the man at the centre of this controversy.

2.45 pm

It appears that the investigation which has led to Hickey's arrest was requested by former Brazilian striker Romario, now a Brazilian politician.

In 2012, Hickey refuted claims by Romario that he had abused his position to allow his son, Stephen earn a job within THG.

2.40 pm

To bring you up to speed, this investigation is being led by the fraud unit of the civil police. This is the third stage of their inquiry.

One of the headlines from the story will surround an alleged escape attempt by Hickey upon arrest, but there's been conflicting reports around this.

The BBC used a police source to say that Hickey attempted to escape upon arrest. This was later explained by Jamil Chade - the man who broke the story - as Hickey not being present in his room owing to him looking for his son in an adjacent room.

Police at the press conference said that Hickey was in fact found in an adjacent room, although also claim that his wife told police that he had left the country following his meeting with Ross.

2.26 pm

Confirmation that Hickey was brought to hospital:

2.23 pm 

It seems there was a genuine attempt to escape, per Sinead O'Carroll of The Journal:

2.18pm

Last year, Pat Hickey gave an interview to the Irish Examiner in which he said " I wake up some days: ‘How come I’m not in the papers anymore?"

Today, he is in the top ten trending topics worldwide.

2.15 pm

The relationship between Hickey and Marcus Evans is under scrutiny. Police say that they have evidence of correspondence between Pat Hickey and Marcus Evans. Evans is the owner of Ipswich Town, but more pertinently, is the owner of THG, the company who were caught with the tickets.

 2.10 pm 

Paddy Barnes is enjoying this live-blog, at least.

2.09 pm

The press conference is continuing in Portuguese, with the Irish journalists present recognising the odd word. Here's Sinead O'Carroll of the Journal:

1.55pm 

Still awaiting the English translation of the press conference.

Meanwhile, Jamal Chade has tweeted the arrest report:

 

1.45 pm 

The press conference is just getting underway.

1.41pm

Hickey's passport, accreditation, and tickets presented to the media, for some reason. Nice to see him flying first class.

1.39pm 

The IOC have restored Jamil Chade's accreditation, citing a "mistake":

 

1.10 pm

Some updates via Jamil Chade on RTE Radio. He has refuted claims he attempted to escape, instead he searched the hotel for his son, a resident of the same hotel.

Hickey has been brought to hospital as a precaution owing to his age. He is still at the hospital, and he will then move to a detention centre.

Hickey has denied any impropriety.

1.08 pm

Shane Ross has tweeted his reaction to what we assume is the Hickey news, although it might be the Michael Conlan result.

12.55pm

Brazilian police have confirmed they will hold a press conference at 1.30pm Irish time.

12.39 pm

The IOC have withdrawn the accreditation given to the journalist who broke the story, Jamil Chade:

12.38 pm

The OCI have responded to the news:

12.36 pm

Here's a picture of Hickey being arrested.

12.28pm

The Irish Times are reporting that Hickey was detained on foot of a warrant from the same court that ordered the detention of Irishman Kevin Mallon on August 5th. Mallon was one of two men arrested following the discovery of the tickets.

12.20pm

Via the BBC, Brazilian police say that Hickey tried to escape upon his arrest.

11.39 am

The Brazilian journalist who broke the story, Jamil Chade says that Hickey was taken to hospital upon his arrest:

11.28 am

Pat Hickey has been arrested at his hotel in Rio.

Rio police arrested on the morning of Wednesday the IOC member Pat Hickey, accused of involvement in the irregular sale of tickets for the Olympic Games . The arrest took place at the hotel used by the entity, in Barra da Tijuca.

https://twitter.com/JamilChade/status/765866187507073025

Background

Hickey was due to step down from the OCI after the Olympics, and has been linked to a scandal relating to the illegal touting of tickets earmarked for the Irish organisation. Two people were arrested for illegally selling tickets at an inflated price for the Rio Olympics: Irishman Kevin James Mallon and  Barbara Carnieri, both employees of THG Sports, Ireland's authorised ticket seller for London 2012  These tickets were originally allocated to the OCI: Ireland's ticket seller for 2016 is a different company, entitled Pro 10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q8bRkelsGo

Hickey issued a statement in response to these arrests claiming that the OCI "don't handle (the tickets) whatsoever. The tickets are issued to Pro10 (the OCI's ticket agent for the Games) not by us but by Rio 2016...we never handle tickets whatsoever".

Hickey said that the OCI had written to the IOC, the Brazilian Olympics authorities and Pro10, seeking answers as to what had transpired.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross then flew to Rio seeking a meeting with Hickey, as he was concerned that the OCI's inquiry lacked independence.

Following that meeting, the Minister released this statement:

The Minister emphasised the necessity of independence and rigour in such investigations, in terms of establishing their credibility.

The OCI refused the Minister’s request, citing legal advice.

The OCI also stated that it would not provide any information to any third party, including any independent inquiry the Minister might establish, until such time as the case concludes.

While the Minister accepts that due process and natural justice must take its course, he does not accept that there is any legal basis for refusing to accept independent members on the OCI’s inquiry.

Ross refused to confirm he had confidence in Hickey before he flew to Rio, and following a meeting between the two men, Ross told Morning Ireland that he was deeply dissatisfied with the meeting, claiming that relations were "fairly tense, fairly direct, fairly frank" while claiming he was "absolutely stunned" at the response, and that talks had "met a brick wall."

[Esportes]

See Also: Just A Reminder That Pat Hickey Was An Influential Defender Of The Russian Olympic Team 

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