Friday 20 October 2017

OCI accepts all findings of Moran Report and will act as own ticket agent for Winter Games

Former OCI president Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Former OCI president Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey. Photo: Mark Condren

Laura Larkin and Kevin Doyle

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has agreed to accept all of Judge Moran's findings and to handle ticketing for the upcoming Winter Olympics itself.

The meeting of the board on Wednesday night was the first since the Moran Report into the Rio ticketing scandal was published.

In a statement, released after the meeting, the board said it would "not accept the return" of former OCI President Pat Hickey to the board of the organisation.

The OCI also addressed an investigation being carried out by the International Olympic Council's (IOC) ethics commission in relation to Pat Hickey. 

Mr Hickey temporarily stepped down from his position with the IOC after he was charged with ticket touting, ambush marketing, theft, tax evasion and money laundering last year.

Should he return to the IOC's executive board, he would be an ex-officio member of the OCI. Although, he would not have voting rights.

"Tonight the Board agreed to fully cooperate with that investigation and to share and provide requested information and documentation to the Commission, including the Moran Report. We expect that this process may take some time to reach a conclusion," the spokeswoman said.

At the meeting the board also discussed ticketing arrangements.

Judge Carroll Moran's report found that the ticket seller appointed by the OCI for Rio 2016, Pro10, was not genuine and was used to disguise the continuing role of THG, which had been rejected by the Rio organising committee.

THG is owned by Marcus Evans Group.

A deal was done to appoint THG as the Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) at future Olympics until 2026.

In a statement issued shortly after midnight on Thursday morning the board said it was agreed to "seek to address the concerns raised by Judge Moran with regard to the absence of a full reconciliation of tickets and ticket revenue".

Grant Thornton will carry out this process and it is anticipated that the process will be completed by the end of September.

However, the board was not able to comment on ticketing arrangements for Tokyo 2020 and beyond "on foot of legal advice" according to a spokeswoman.

The board also said:

"Following the decision by the Pyeonchang Organising Committee to terminate the OCI’s Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) arrangements for the 2018 Winter Games the Board has decided to handle all ticketing arrangements for these Games itself (subject to the approval of the local Pyeonchang organising committee). Ireland is expected to have a small team of between 5-10 athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Games."

The OCI has also agreed to implement the remaining eight recommendations of the Deloitte report and to put them before OCI Members at an EGM towards the end of the year.

A meeting will also be sought with Minister for Sport Shane Ross with a view to expediting the reinstatement of State funding to the OCI to "ensure that the future planning and preparation of athletes and teams is not disrupted".

The OCI is now "eager to move forward" and focus on reform and on athletes pursuing Olympic dreams the board added.

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