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Sunday 22 September 2019

Pat Hickey vows to 'clear his name' as he arrives back in Dublin

Pat Hickey
Pat Hickey
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) Pat Hickey is back home and has said he is looking forward to spending Christmas with his family.

Mr Hickey arrived back in Dublin on Sunday night, after spending more than four months in Brazil.

He had left Rio on Wednesday last, but is understood to have first travelled to London to visit family.

Upon arrival in Dublin, the former Irish Olympics boss again insisted that he would clear his name on the charges related to ticket touting that he faces in South America.

“It has been an extremely traumatic few months for myself and my family,” he said in a statement to The Irish Times.

“I have returned to Ireland where I will undergo ongoing medical treatment under the care of my medical consultant,” he added.

Mr Hickey said he will do “everything possible” to prove his innocence, in the statement to the Irish Times.

“Once again I wish to state that I am totally innocent of all charges against me.

“I intend to adhere to any requests made by the Brazilian authorities and I will do everything possible to clear my name so that I can, in due course, get on with my life with my wife and family,” he added.

The former sports administrator also acknowledged the help he received from the International Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

That organisation put up the €410,000 he was ordered to pay in bail, for the return of his passport.

“I wish to thank most sincerely those who sent messages of support to me and my family in recent months,” the statement read.

“These meant so much to me at the most difficult time in my life and especially when, sadly, there was such a rush to judgment among some members of the media,” he said.

Mr Hickey said he was “delighted” to be home and able to spend Christmas with his family, even pointing out he was awaiting the arrival of two more grandchildren in January.

He said he would not be making any further comment and appealed for privacy.

Mr Hickey was arrested at dawn in his hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games, on allegations including ticket touting, ambush marketing, and money laundering.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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