Sunday 4 December 2016

Paul Kimmage: It isn't about sport, athletes or athletics for Pat Hickey, it's about power and privilege

Published 22/08/2016 | 19:47

Pat Hickey
Pat Hickey

Paul Kimmage addressed the Olympic ticket touting scandal in his Sunday Independent column and on Monday evening he spoke further about one of the most dramatic turn of events in the history of Irish sport.

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As Pat Hickey sits in a Brazilian jail cell, people are trying to come to terms with how the most powerful man in Irish sport ended up in this situation.

Paul Kimmage: How did Pat Hickey become the most hated man in Irish sport?  

Kimmage noted how no Irish Olympians from Hickey's 28 year spell as OCI president have voiced their support for the man, something that Kimmage thinks speaks to Hickey's priorities as the head of the Irish Olympic movement.

"Pat is reflective of what this is all about," Kimmage said in an interview with Matt Cooper on the Last Word on Today FM.

"It isn't about sport for Pat. It isn't about athletes or athletics for Pat. It is about power and privilege."

Kimmage also compared Hickey to some of the administrators involved in running cycling, and wondered whether Hickey - and some of the other heads of sporting organisations - truly love the sports that they are supposed to be in charge of.

"Pat Hickey is another one of those guys who got in there and got onto the ladder and started climbing," he said.

"You just look at what he said before the games started, and this is the classic example, what he said about [Yuliya] Stepanova [the Russian whistleblower]. Didn't care a whiff that her life was under threat. Didn't care a whiff that she had gone out and done something really good for sport. Then he had the gall to talk about 'clean athletes. It was astonishing."

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