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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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Pat Hickey stands down as Olympic Council of Ireland President after Rio arrest

The OCI says it is a temporary decision.

Hickey was hospitalised after his arrest.
Hickey was hospitalised after his arrest.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

PAT HICKEY IS to temporarily step aside as the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) following his arrest in Rio today.

Hickey is facing three charges after his arrest by Brazilian fraud police investigating ticket touting.

The 71-year-old was also hospitalised as precautionary measure following his arrest and it is understood that he remains in a Rio hospital.

As well as being president of the OCI, Hickey is also a member of the International Olympic Committee and head of European Olympic Committees. He will also hand over these functions for the time being.

In a statement this evening, the OCI says that Hickey has decided to stand aside as investigations continue.

“A warrant of arrest for OCI President Pat Hickey was issued this morning by Brazilian authorities,” the statement said.

Contrary to reports, Mr Hickey complied fully with the terms of the warrant. Mr Hickey was taken ill as this warrant was served and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

“In light of this morning’s developments and his ill health, Mr Hickey has taken the decision to step aside temporarily as President of the OCI and all other Olympic functions until this matter is fully resolved. Mr Hickey will of course continue to cooperate and assist with all ongoing enquiries.”

Hickey is facing three charges; facilitating ticket touting, forming a cartel and illicit marketing, which is a specific law for the Olympic Games.

If charged and convicted of the allegations, the maximum sentence for the offences is seven years in prison.

The development follows the arrest of another Irish man, Kevin James Mallon, in Rio de Janeiro a fortnight ago for allegedly touting Olympic Games tickets at exorbitant prices.

The tickets were registered to the OCI.

In an interview earlier this week, Hickey said that “there is no impropriety whatsoever from anyone in the OCI or myself in the dealing of tickets”.

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Rónán Duffy

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