Monday 16 July 2018

OCI tied into contract with company at centre of Rio ticketing scandal until 2026

New president of OCI says details of contract are 'pretty watertight'

Photo: Getty/AFP
Photo: Getty/AFP
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE Olympic Council of Ireland is tied into contracts with the company at the centre of the Rio ticketing scandal until 2026.

Ticket firm THG, which is owned by millionaire Marcus Evans, is understood to have made the deal with former OCI president Pat Hickey in January last year.

The Moran Inquiry reported that the two men had a "concealed relationship" and suggested they worked together after THG was rejected as an ‘Authorised Ticket Reseller’ (ATR) for the Rio Games.

Mr Justice Carroll Moran reported the company which subsequently handled Ireland’s ticket allocation, Pro10, "was not a genuine ATR but its involvement disguised the continuing role of THG and Marcus Evans as the rea or de facto ATR."

THG were rejected by the Rio Organising Committee on the grounds that they were suspected of being involved in ticket touting and unauthorised hospitality events.

In the wake of the report it has now emerged that the OCI is formally contracted to use THG as a ticket agent for the winter and summer Games in 2018, 2022, 2024 and 2026.

The new president of the OCI Sarah Keane confirmed this "presents the OCI with quite a challenge going forward."

She declined to go into the details of the contract but described them as "pretty watertight."

The deal does involve a financial element which Ms Keane said was "substantial."

The OCI’s legal team are currently studying the contracts to see if they can be broken.

Independent.ie understands that the OCI are also investigating whether they are still owed money from THG on the back of their involvement as ticket agents during the London Olympics in 2012.

Despite the controversy in Rio which saw Mr Hickey arrested and charged with ticket touting, THG continues to boast about its work for the OCI on its website.

In a statement this evening THG said: “THG informed the Moran Inquiry, that based on legal advice, it was not able at this time to provide information, due to legal proceedings in Brazil.

“THG wishes to reaffirm that it is satisfied that, at all times, it has acted lawfully in connection with the Rio Olympics, or any Olympics and will make no further comment.”

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