News 13 September 2016

Hickey sought IOC approval for Rio 2016 ticket plan

Pat Hickey, who has temporarily stood down as President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) and Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) proposing that THG Sports be used as ticketing sub agent, according to emails held by Brazilian police. In the emails, published by the Irish Independent, Hickey proposes that THG be granted the same rights as an Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR), after the Rio 2016 Organising Committee rejected a proposal for THG Sports to be used, due to allegations of touting tickets at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

In the emails, reportedly dated 10 April 2015, Hickey claimed that he had spoken to IOC President Thomas Bach about the plan, and ‘he was in acceptance with it’. Brazilian prosecutors are reportedly keen to speak to Bach in connection with their investigations.

Irish company Pro10 Sports Management, which like the OCI is based in Dublin, was set up on 28 April 2015, 18 days after Hickey’s email, and was approved as the Irish ATR for Rio 2016. Police in Rio are investigating whether Pro10 was created to act as a bridge to get tickets from the OCI to THG. Pro10 does not list any other clients on its internet site.

Last month, the OCI launched an investigation after individuals were found in possession of Rio 2016 tickets allocated to the OCI, which were available for purchase at inflated prices. ‘The OCI has launched an immediate investigation with our Authorised Ticket Reseller, Pro10, into how the individuals were allegedly in possession of OCI allocated tickets’, read a statement.

In a 12 August statement, Pro10 said one of the arrested men, Kevin Mallon, was holding tickets on the ground for clients of Pro 10, but said that he was not supposed to be selling tickets at above face value cost. Pro 10 explain the tickets Mallon ‘had in his possession were held on our behalf to be made available simply for collection by Irish and other European customers of Pro 10 in Rio’. As further stated they were tickets ‘made available for sale through the authorised ATR process and were sold to legitimate customers of Pro 10 at face value plus the allowed ATR reseller fee’. Pro 10 argue that it maintains compliance with the ATR practice and regulations and continues to cooperate fully with the Brazilian authorities.

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