Five things to know about Irish Olympic tickets controversy


Five facts about the Irish Olympic tickets controversy that saw International Olympic Committee executive Patrick Hickey arrested in Rio on Wednesday:

+ Patrick Hickey, 71, is president of the European Olympic Committees and the Olympic Council of Ireland, which said it was seeking “total clarity” before commenting on reports of Hickey’s arrest, which was thought to be connected to the arrest last week of Irish national Kevin James Mallon in what police said was an international ticket scalping ring.

+ Kevin James Mallon is director of THG Sports, a corporate sports and hospitality company based in London. When he was arrested on August 5 he was in possession of almost 1,000 premier tickets for Games events. Hickey’s son Stephen is a former THG employee.

+ Pro 10 Sports Management is an Irish company based in Lucan which was appointed by the OCI as its Authorised Ticket Re-seller (ATR) in Ireland. Pro 10 said the tickets Mallon had in his possession were held on their behalf for collection by Irish and other European customers who had purchased them at face value, plus a normal ATR fee, through the approved re-sale process. In a statement on their website Pro 10 complained that they had suffered “significant commercial loss” as a result of the seizure of the tickets.

+ After Mallon’s arrest the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) launched an investigation into allegations of illegal sales of tickets and on Monday said that Hickey had met with Ireland Sports Minsiter Shane Ross to discuss the ticket issue, the OCI reiterating that it was “not investigating itself” but rather probing “the chain of events” from the appointment of Pro 10 to Mallon’s arrest. “There remains no suggestion fo any wrongdoing or misconduct on the part of the OCI or any of its staff,” the council said in a statement.

+ Hickey gave an interview to RTE radio on Friday in which he denied any connection to THG, denied knowing Mallon and insisted that none of the tickets in question passed through the OCI office.