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Spiralling cost of €750k Rio ticket probe turns focus on OCI executive

As another member steps down, there are calls for it to be replaced.

Pat Hickey has also temporarily stepped down from the OCI executive.
Pat Hickey has also temporarily stepped down from the OCI executive.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

A POSTPONED REVIEW of the Rio ticketing scandal will reportedly cost more than €750,000.

Four of 13 members of the Olympic Council of Ireland’s (OCI) Executive Committee have left their positions since the scandal broke on the eve of the Olympics and Fianna Fáil are now calling for the executive to be replaced.

Ciarán Ó Catháin, the chair of the committee set up to investigate the ticketing scandal, was the latest the leave his position on Thursday.

Ó Catháin’s decision to step aside came after the Executive Committee decided to postpone an independent review of the scandal until after criminal proceedings against former president Pat Hickey were concluded.

Hickey remains in Rio where he is staying in a rented property provided for him by the OCI. Hickey is not allowed leave the country and his passport is being held by Brazilian authorities.

A report in today’s Irish Times quoted a letter from the OCI’s general secretary Dermot Henihan in which he says costs from the review are “likely to exceed €750k”.

The letter states that the Grant Thornton-led review was mothballed because “at least eight people” can’t take part in it due to ongoing criminal proceedings against Hickey.

Hickey, who was referred to as “our president” in the letter, had threatened a court injunction against the completion of the independent review.

Reacting to the the latest developments in the case, Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy TD  has said that public confidence has been lost in the OCI.

“Clearly there is a need for a rejuvenated executive with four of the original 13 members having resigned in the wake of the scandal. The EGM must be brought forward and ensure that a newly elected executive has the support of the membership to deal with the challenges that lie ahead,” he said.

Hickey, an IOC member, former head of the OCI and the European Olympic Committees, was detained in August and is accused of involvement in a ticket scam, ambush marketing and conspiracy over the sale of Rio Olympics tickets at inflated prices.

A government inquiry, chaired by Justice Carroll Moran, is also examining ticket sales for the London (2012) and Sochi (2014) Games, as well as Rio 2016.

Comments have been disabled for legal reasons. 

Read: Pat Hickey family lawyer: “It could be you or I who are in that situation” >

Read: Three OCI officials return to Ireland after Rio police hand back their passports >

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Rónán Duffy

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