Monday 29 May 2017

No mention of Pat Hickey’s arrest in OCI CEO Stephen Martin’s Rio report

Stephen Martin, Chief Executive, Olympic Council of Ireland, during the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Stephen Martin, Chief Executive, Olympic Council of Ireland, during the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

FOR the first time in nearly four decades a significant meeting of the Olympic Council of Ireland went ahead without the presence of Pat Hickey.

Stephen Martin, the chief executive of the OCI, who acted as deputy chef de mission of the Irish team in Rio, made no direct reference to Hickey's arrest during the Games in his report to the EGM, though he alluded briefly to the ticketing controversy.

“You will be aware that there were delays in approving our Authorised Ticketing Agency, resulting in a poor allocation of public sale tickets.

“The OCI decided to continue on as per the London Games and to fund the Athlete Family and Friend Ticketing scheme as a gesture of goodwill, which enabled each athlete competing at the Games to access two tickets for each round with the exception of swimming which was one ticket due to stadium capacity,” he said.

In terms of performance Martin said there were 16 top ten finishes and it was reasonable to expect that this would be converted to three or four medals.

“That was not the case in Rio where adverse circumstances prevailed specially in the sport of boxing. There was reasonable expectations of medals from a talented group of boxers and coaches.

“There is no doubt that the standard of referees and judges had an impact on this,” suggested Martin who pointed out that in the wake of boxer Michael O'Reilly failing a dope test the “OCI took full control of the situation to protect the athlete until his flight home.”

In relation to boxers, Michael Conlan and Steven Donnelly being summoned before an IOC ethics commission for betting on the boxing competition, Martin reported that the OCI acted in accordance with IOC ethics guidelines.

In terms of accommodation in the Olympic Village, Martin said that Rio could not cope and asked the OCI to find and pay for their own solutions.

These included electrical issues, gas leaks, fitting or repairing toilet/sinks, shower fittings and extensive flooding.

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