OCI seeking legal advice over ticket agent agreement

The official OCI ticket seller has been refused authorisation for the 2018 Winter Olympics

OCI seeking legal advice over ticket agent agreement

File photo of Pat Hickey in the National Concert Hall, Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The former Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey has yet to indicate whether he will agree to appear before an Oireachtas committee this week.

The Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport is meeting to discuss the Moran report into alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympics.

The Sports Minister Shane Ross will attend the hearing alongside officials from his department, representatives from the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and Sport Ireland.

The report published by retired judge Carroll Moran yesterday warned that the inquiry had been hampered by the fact that it could not compel witnesses to appear before it.

The report was critical of governance arraignments at the OCI and found that accounting procedures at the organisation were not robust.

It also found that the council’s authorised ticket seller for the Rio games, Pro10, was not fit for purpose and was not appointed in a transparent manner.

It suggests that the Pro10 appointment only served to disguise the continuing role of ticket distribution company THG.

THG was rejected as an official ticket partner by the Rio organising committee and has also been refused authorisation for the Olympic Winter Games next year in South Korea.

The OCI is currently getting legal advice after it emerged that it is tied down to a deal with THG until 2026.

The chair of the committee Fergus O’Dowd said Mr Hickey had been invited to attend the Oireachtas hearing but warned that it is “a matter for him” whether he chooses to turn up.

He said the controversy over the ticket sales partner must be resolved:

“What has to change now is that if there is any future ticket seller appointed by the Irish Olympic Committee, it must be minuted and it must be totally transparent as to who they are and all of the information in relation to that – that will have to happen into the future,” he said.

Rio arrest

The former OCI president spent two weeks in a Brazilian maximum security prison before being put under house arrest.

He returned to Ireland last December.