Sunday 19 January 2020

Rio ticket scandal: THG and PRO10 both back calls for Independent Inquiry

The seized tickets for the Rio Olympics. Photo: Getty
The seized tickets for the Rio Olympics. Photo: Getty

The two companies at the centre of the Rio ticket touting scandal have fully backed calls for an independent inquiry.

Earlier this week, Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey was arrested as Brazilian police investigate the illegal sale of OCI tickets for the Games in Rio. One other Irish man, Kevin Mallon, is currently in custody for his alleged role in the ticket touting scandal that has rocked Irish sport.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross is today expected to announce that there will be a full independent inquiry into the matter and both THG and Pro10 have given their full support for such an inquiry.

"THG notes that, in the interests of the wider Irish public, there have been calls in Ireland for an independent inquiry into the Rio16 Olympic ticketing affair.

"In a statement today THG wishes to make clear that it would very much welcome such an inquiry and pledges to provide full cooperation in the strong belief that it can demonstrate that the company has acted lawfully at all times," read a statement from THG.

"While THG respects the Brazilian police process, which clearly is different to that in the UK or Ireland, THG believes that a full and proper judicial assessment cannot be achieved without consideration of, and access to, all the THG compliance documentation which THG has followed in the provision of hospitality packages in Rio. THG would like to see that an independent inquiry, under the chair of a respected Irish legal figure, be actioned expeditiously."

THG, the hospitality group that insist they were acting as a ticket collection point for customers purchasing tickets from PRO10 - who were the Authorised Ticket Seller (ATR) for the Olympic Council of Ireland in Rio - "refutes any suggestion of impropriety on its part or breach of national laws or ROCOG regulations£.

PRO10, meanwhile, the company who the Olympic Council of Ireland outsourced its ticket sales to, added its voice of approval for an independent inquiry.

"PRO10 fully supports the call for a judge-lead inquiry into the matter of the sale of tickets for the Rio 2016 Olympics. We believe that it should be a full Commission of Investigation under the 2004 Act of that name," read a statement from PRO12.

"A Commission of Investigation should be established speedily; investigate all relevant facts and report its conclusions in the shortest possible time. We understand that the terms of any investigation should respect the Brazilian legal process.

"We have nothing to hide and are therefore anxious that the full facts are established and made public as soon as possible so that our good name can be exonerated.

"PRO10 has cooperated fully with any request for information from ROCOG and the IOC and we will comply fully with the proposed Commission of Investigation. We welcome Minister Ross's efforts to uncover the facts of this matter as soon as possible."

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