Shane Ross announces inquiry into Rio ticket controversy

He has met with the Attorney-General Máire Whelan

Shane Ross announces inquiry into Rio ticket controversy

Sports Minister Shane Ross arriving back at Dublin Airport from the Rio Olympics Games | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Sports Minister Shane Ross has announced a non-statutory inquiry to be carried out by a retired Judge into the controversy surrounding sale of tickets for events at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He has met with the Attorney-General Máire Whelan to seek her advice.

It comes as the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) say they will cooperate fully with any inquiry.

Earlier, ticketing company Pro10 Sports Management said it fully supports calls for a "judge-led inquiry".

The Irish Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) for the games said: "A Commission of Investigation should be established speedily; investigate all relevant facts and report its conclusions in the shortest possible time."

"We understand that the terms of any investigation should respect the Brazilian legal process."

Legal issues are still pending against Pat Hickey, who has temporarily stepped aside as president of the OCI.

He was discharged from a hospital in Rio and brought to a police station "to complete a deposition".

Mr Hickey was arrested on Wednesday over the scandal, but had been in hospital with chest pains.

Yesterday, after arriving back early from the Olympic Games, Minister Ross said his preference was for the inquiry "to be utterly and totally independent."

Mr Ross also said he was "stonewalled" and "absolutely shattered" by Mr Hickey's previous refusal to appoint an independent member to the inquiry.

The Olympic Council of Ireland have released the following statement addressing the recent events in Rio:

The Board of the Olympic Council of Ireland regrets that recent events in Brazil have overshadowed the many great performances of Team Ireland at the Rio Olympic Games. With 11 top 10 finishes at this stage this has been one of the most successful performances at an Olympic Games by an Irish team.

The Board is taking the recent events in Rio very seriously and wishes to state the following:

  • A top priority of the Board is supporting the current Irish athletes and teams in Brazil.
  • The Board has no further comment on the charges against Mr Hickey who is receiving his own legal advice and is entitled to natural justice and due process.
  • Independent legal advisors Arthur Cox have been appointed to advise the board of the OCI.
  •    As referenced in a statement earlier the Board will co-operate fully with a State inquiry and it will now appoint an external independent firm to carry out a review.

The Board has not had an opportunity to meet in person to discuss events in Rio due to the ongoing Games, however, it will meet this weekend and a further statement will be issued in due course.