Monday 23 October 2017

Revealed: Rio ticketing scandal cost the Olympic Council of Ireland over €1.5m

Pat Hickey is home in Dublin but still faces charges in Brazil. Picture: Justin Farrelly
Pat Hickey is home in Dublin but still faces charges in Brazil. Picture: Justin Farrelly
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE ticketing scandal at the Olympics in Rio has cost the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) more than €1.5m.

Figures released by the OCI today, ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM), showed €1.04m was spent on legal and professional advice alone.

President of the organisation Sarah Keane, who was elected in February tasked with cleaning up the mess left in the wake of the 2016 games, said almost €300,000 has been recouped from insurers. 

The cost of the whole affair dragged the OCI into the red last year. It posted a loss of €826,180. However the board has said it can meet its debts from reserves. 

New Olympic Council of Ireland President Sarah Keane after the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
New Olympic Council of Ireland President Sarah Keane after the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Ms Keane has promised to lead a reform agenda. "The (new) board feel very strongly about trying to be as transparent and accountable for our actions as possible, communication is a big piece of that," she said. 

"As an organisation, I can't sum up how the last year has been. It's been chaotic, dramatic, traumatic, extremely costly and there's been a lot of individuals who suffered personally and deeply as a result of what's happened in the last year,"  she said.

Former OCI president, Pat Hickey,  is home in Dublin on bail, as he faces charges in relation to alleged ticket touting in Brazil.

However, the pre-AGM conference today was told that so far, there has been no progress on the case in Brazil, with no date set. 

Ms Keane also said an athletes commission would be set up, with one member of that commission also a full board member of the OCI.

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