I-O-C Official Accused In Ticket Scalping Probe

By Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO -(AP)– A senior international Olympic official was taken to a hospital Wednesday after police came to his hotel to arrest him as part of a probe into ticket scalping.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press that Ireland’s Patrick Hickey, a member of the IOC’s executive board, was in the hospital.

Hickey is accused of plotting with at least six others to illegally sell tickets for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Rio police said.

“Continuing our investigation, civil police discovered the involvement of Patrick in the international scheme of ticket scalping,” the Rio police fraud unit said.

Hickey, 71, is president of the Olympic Council of Ireland as well as president of the European Olympic Committees, and has served on the IOC executive board since 2012.
Officials with knowledge of the situation told the AP that police came to Hickey’s room at the IOC’s beachfront hotel in the Barra de Tijuca area shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been announced publicly.

Hickey felt unwell and was taken by police to a nearby hospital. There was no immediate word on his condition.

“We are still in the process of establishing the facts,” the IOC said in a statement.

The Olympic Council of Ireland said in a statement it is “aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further.”

An Irish executive was arrested last week in the same investigation and four other executives are wanted in the probe.

Agents have seized more than 1,000 tickets that were being sold for high fees and allocated to the Olympic Council of Ireland. The company suspected is British hospitality provider THG Sports.

One of the executives wanted is Marcus Evans, who owns Marcus Evans Group, the parent company for THG Sports and the owner of English soccer club Ipswich Town.

Kevin James Mallon, one of the heads of THG Sports, was arrested at the start of the Rio Games along with an employee who was working as an interpreter. Police say Mallon had fake tickets.

After those arrests, the Olympic Council of Ireland said it would investigate why some of its tickets were in their possession. The OCI name was visible on tickets displayed by police, but the Irish said they had “no knowledge” of the two men arrested.

“The OCI strictly adheres to the IOC regulations around ticket allocation, sale and re-sale. We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness,” the council said at the time.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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