Hickey threat scuppers Irish Olympic ticket report


Dublin (AFP)

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has postponed the publication of a report into ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympics, citing a threat from its president Pat Hickey to seek an injunction preventing its completion.

Hickey, 71, was arrested by police in Brazil in August following an investigation into alleged ticket touting and remains in the country facing criminal charges.

The OCI said it would postpone the publication of a review being carried out by accounting firm Grant Thornton, which had been expected next month, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against Hickey.

"This decision was taken following the receipt of a letter from Mr Hickey's lawyers this week in which he threatened to make an application to the High Court for an injunction preventing the completion of the review," the OCI said in a statement released late on Wednesday.

"The Executive Committee has decided not to incur the very significant additional cost of defending any such legal proceedings."

The OCI said it remained committed to cooperating fully with the ongoing non-statutory state inquiry into the controversy surrounding distribution of tickets for the Games.

The Grant Thornton findings are to be forwarded directly to Judge Carroll Moran, who is overseeing the investigation.

Hickey, at the OCI helm since 1988, has stepped down temporarily as OCI president and president of the European Olympic Committees.

He faces up to seven years in jail if convicted over a range of offences including ticket touting, money laundering and tax evasion. He has denied all charges.