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

OCI honorary general secretary Dermot Henihan, chief executive Stephen Martin and Rio 2016 chef de mission Kevin Kilty are leaving Brazil.

OCI secretary general Dermot Henihan.
OCI secretary general Dermot Henihan.
Image: Leo Correa/PA

THREE OCI OFFICIALS who had their passports seized by Brazilian police are on their way back to Ireland for the first time in four weeks.

An Olympic Council of Ireland spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie tonight that OCI honorary general secretary Dermot Henihan, chief executive Stephen Martin and Rio 2016 chef de mission Kevin Kilty are free to leave Brazil.

The trio spent almost a month in Rio de Janeiro after police raided their hotel rooms on the day of the closing ceremony.

They have been scheduled to tip down in Ireland on over the last 24 hours, after a judge handed back their passports earlier this week.

Henihan spoke to the Limerick Leader from London before boarding a flight to Ireland on Wednesday morning. He said he was eager to book his final flight home.

“The situation is that I am trying to get a flight back home. My brother is ready to collect me at the airport.

I got as far as I am now, and I have to book my flight now as a last step. I am going to see what [flight] I can get.
I am on the road too long now. All I am looking forward to, now, is seeing my family and friends.

He added that he was “rather pleased” to be returning home.

Rio Olympics Ticket Scalping OCI team leader Kevin Kilty, right, and chief executive Stephen Martin leave police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro on 25 August. Source: Leo Correa/PA

Not a suspect

Henihan spoke to police on Tuesday 23 August, although officers later clarified that he was not a suspect in the investigation.

Two days later Kilty and Martin were also informed by police that they were simply witnesses.

Last Friday, former OCI President Pat Hickey was charged by a Brazilian judge in relation to alleged ticket touting.

Nine others, including Irishman Kevin Mallon from THG Sports, also face charges including criminal organisation, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Hickey has protested his innocence and said he “intends to face all the charges and to fight each and every one of them”.

Former athlete Sonia O’Sullivan, who was chef de mission of the Irish team in London in 2012, said that she will review her position before her re-election to the OCI board is due next year.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons.

Read: Sonia O’Sullivan says she will “have to review” her position on the Olympic Council board

Read: “This has been a life-changing experience” – Pat Hickey responds to ticketing charges

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