Sunday 20 May 2018

Olympic Council of Ireland and agency at centre of Rio ticketing scandal terminate contracts

The Moran Report found that THG was rejected as an authorised ticket reseller (ATR) for the Olympic Council of Ireland ahead of the Rio Games because officials in Brazil suspected it planned to hold unauthorised hospitality events. The contract subsequently went to Pro10, which Judge Carroll Moran said was effectively a front for THG Photo: AFP/GETTY
The Moran Report found that THG was rejected as an authorised ticket reseller (ATR) for the Olympic Council of Ireland ahead of the Rio Games because officials in Brazil suspected it planned to hold unauthorised hospitality events. The contract subsequently went to Pro10, which Judge Carroll Moran said was effectively a front for THG Photo: AFP/GETTY

The Olympic Council of Ireland and THG, the agency at the centre of the Rio ticketing scandal, have agreed to terminate contracts.

The OCI was tied into contracts with THG until 2026 after the firm struck a deal with Pat Hickey in January last year. But following mediation carried out by former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Finnegan, those contacts have now been terminated.

"Following a mediation carried out by former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Finnegan, THG and the Olympic Council of Ireland (“OCI”) wish to announce that they have reached an agreement to terminate the contracts agreed between the parties in 2016 that relate to the 2018-2026 Olympic Games," read a statement from the OCI.

"OCI accepts that these contracts were enforceable as between the parties and that THG fully intended performing its contractual obligations.

"Both parties agreed that with THG reducing its business activities in Ireland that this would be the most appropriate course of action in the interests of Irish athletes and the wider Irish public. 

"THG has been the OCI’s most significant commercial partner since coming on board in 2010. The OCI wishes to acknowledge THG’s willingness to reach an amicable resolution in this matter."

The Moran Inquiry reported that the Mr Hickey and THG owner Marcus Evans 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.

Mr Hickey, who is facing the prospect of criminal charges in Brazil, has so far refused to co-operate with the inquiry led by Judge Carroll Moran into the touting scandal.

He has also rejected an invitation to appear in front of the Oireachtas sport committee, citing legal advice.

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