No evidence former Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey was a ticket tout, according an Irish government report
There's no evidence former Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey was a ticket tout, according an Irish newspaper claiming to have access to details of an official report yet to be published.
Hickey was, however, severely criticized for his faulty governance of the OCI.
The Irish Independent reports that Judge Carroll Moran, in his report commissioned by the government into allegations of Irish ticket-touting at last year’s Olympics in Brazil, repeatedly laments that the investigation was severely hampered.
Judge Moran says there was a lack of cooperation from key players, including Hickey and the International Olympic Committee.
The Rio organizing committee, which oversaw the 2016 Games, did not even respond to correspondence from the inquiry.
Judge Moran says in the report, “There may be information significant to issues herein of which the inquiry is unaware by reason of the silence of the parties not participating.”
Transport and Sports Minister Shane Ross, who ordered the report, is due to publish it next week. It was to have been finished within 12 weeks but took almost a year to conclude.
The judge has recommended against the setting up of a commission of investigation with powers of compellability for a variety of reasons, including the potential cost to the state.
His 226-page report did not find any mismanagement of funds in the Olympic Council of Ireland’s accountancy practices.
But it criticizes the existence of a sterling bank account with Lloyds in London, which was set up in advance of the London games in 2012 but continued to be used afterwards.
The judge probed ties between 72-year-old Hickey and a ticketing company, THG, owned by British billionaire Marcus Evans. The report suggests there was “a concealed” relationship between Hickey and THG, although this has been denied by Hickey’s lawyers.
THG, repeatedly described by the judge as “ticket agents” and by Hickey as a key sponsor for the Olympics Council of Ireland, was not permitted to resell tickets for Rio, but the judge has questioned links between the company and PRO10 which was selected to handle Ireland’s ticket allocation.
Hickey’s arrest in his Rio hotel last year made headlines worldwide. It heralded the beginning of the end of his 28-year reign at the helm of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
He was released on bail and returned to Ireland, but he still faces trial in Brazil where he is accused of ticket touting. He has denied all charges against him.
His lawyers have warned against the publication of the Irish report, on the grounds that it could prejudice his right to a fair trial.