Latest: Ex-OCI chief Pat Hickey reveals intention to 'resume international Olympic duties'

2.50pm: In a statement the former OCI boss Pat Hickey has said he intends to go back to international Olympic duties "in due course".

Mr Hickey released a statement saying: “At all times I acted in the best interests of the Olympic Council of Ireland with a view to maximising revenue for the Olympic Council of Ireland which in turn was channelled into the management of current and future Olympic athletes in Ireland.

“Sponsorship is the life blood of sport and more particularly successful Olympic participation.

“At the time I announced my retirement in January 2016 and subsequent thereto, I left a credit amount in the bank account of the Olympic Council of Ireland to the order of €2.5 million.

“I await the outcome of legal procedures in Brazil and regrettably I and my family are frustrated by the delays in the process which are outside my control. However, my legal team and I remain totally confident that I will be cleared of all charges in Brazil.”

The 72-year-old concluded: “I look forward in due course to resuming my international Olympic duties.”

Earlier: A “failure by so many principal participants” to cooperate with the Government's inquiry into the Rio 2016 ticket scandal has been slammed by the Judge who carried out the probe, writes Daniel McConnell.

“This failure by so many principal participants to engage with the Inquiry has imposed a major impediment in the preparation of this Report,” it concluded.

The report into the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) released today is highly criticial of the governance of the organisation, and severely criticised the failure of former President Pat Hickey and others to cooperate with the inquiry.

“The Inquiry respects the claim of a right against selfincrimination and recognises the need to invoke this plea by a party facing serious allegations in another forum,” Judge Carroll Moran found.

“Nonetheless the invocation of this plea by the International Olympic Committee, Pro10, T.H.G. and Patrick Hickey has created a major obstacle for the Inquiry,” he stated boldly.

He said the failure to interact fully came despite clear expressions by the main players of a willingness to cooperate.

“First, reliance on the right against self-incrimination need not have universal application. For example, not everything to be disclosed need be prejudicial or capable of adverse interpretation against the party making the statement. General matters of a non-contentious nature, easily accessible to the public, may not fall within this privilege,” Judge Moran said.

“Secondly, the length of time to communicate the decision to invoke this privilege added considerably to a delay in the Inquiry carrying out its work,” he added.

The report which cost €300,000 took almost 12 months to complete as opposed to the 12 weeks it was initially meant to take.

Judge Moran has also found that the seller appointed by the OCI was “not genuine” and provided an inadequate and chaotic service.

Significant complaints from athletes, relatives, and friends who were unable to get tickets for key events arose as a result.

The OCI's authorised reseller - Dublin company Pro10 - was appointed after its previously contracted reseller, THG, was rejected by the Rio organising committee.

THG is owned by Marcus Evans Group.

Judge Carroll Moran found that Pro10 was “not fit for purpose” and was used to “disguise the continuing role of THG” in the handling of tickets.

The report states that Mr Hickey did not inform the OCI's executive committee of the rejection of THG, its continuing involvement, or the appointment of Pro10.

Mr Hickey's relationship with THG was long standing and to the mutual benefit of THG and the OCI, the report states.

The OCI was run on presidential decision-making rather than a collegiate process.

Mr Hickey retained some functions usually handled by the CEO - including fundraising and commercial contracts.

According to the 250-page report, Marcus Evans communicated to Mr Hickey an option of forming a new company to act as the authorised ticket reseller with some contractual and/or agency relationship with the OCI, once THG had been rejected by the IOC.

Pro10 was incorporated shortly after this.

THG paid $1 million for rights to London 2012 and Sochi 2014 and Judge Moran says this was without explanation on how it would recoup the money.

He says it was difficult to see how this would be consistent with the allowed 20% premium on the quantity of tickets from the OCI.

The judge also says there was more concern with THG and Pro10 for commercial interests than the interests of athletes.

Pro10 was to get all of the OCI's 46 family tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies and almost all athletic finals.

At least 178 family tickets were transferred from the OCI to Pro10 although these were not allowed for general sale.

The OCI's sport director told the inquiry that they were passed on to Pro10 as the OCI did not require them.

You can see the full report here.

KEYWORDS: oci, olympics


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