Tuesday 20 March 2018

OCI denies claims it will trigger process to have Pat Hickey removed from IOC

Ireland's former Olympic boss Pat Hickey
Ireland's former Olympic boss Pat Hickey
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

The Olympic Council of Ireland has dismissed reports suggesting they are going to initiate a process to have Pat Hickey removed from his role with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The board of the OCI meet later today for the first time since the publication of the Moran Report into the Rio ticketing scandal.

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.

The board is expected to consider legal advice on the controversial deal done by former OCI president Pat Hickey and THG for ticket sales at future Olympics until 2026.

The deal was not passed by the OCI's executive committee, which is currently getting legal advice on whether it can be declared void.

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.

A report in today's Irish Times had claimed that the OCI would agree to forward a copy of the Moran report to IOC Ethics Commission.

They claimed that the move would initiate an investigation by the commission into the findings of the Moran report.

In a statement released to Independent.ie, the OCI refuted the claims.

"The OCI has not initiated any process to remove Mr Hickey from his international role nor will it," it read.

"Mr Hickey's membership of the IOC is a matter for the IOC only.

"The OCI board will meet this evening to consider the Moran report and related matters."

Yesterday, Oireachtas Transport, Tourism and Sport committee decided to ask Minster for Sport Shane Ross to request Judge Moran to examine the deal agreed by Mr Hickey tying the OCI to THG.

They also agreed that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Public Accounts Committee should examine the report.

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