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SBD Global/August 16, 2017/Olympics

Former OCI President Hickey Signed Deals With 'Ticket Tout' Through '26

The Olympic Council of Ireland is locked into "watertight" contracts with the British company at the center of the "alleged ticket-touting scandal at Rio" through '26, according to Aaron Rogan of the LONDON TIMES. After publication on Monday of a "damning report" by Justice Carroll Moran into ticketing at the Games, the new board of the OCI gave details of the "immense financial and reputational damage the controversy caused." Sarah Keane, who replaced Pat Hickey as president of the OCI, said that the council "no longer had any sponsors and could not sell ticketing rights to future Games." Such was the "lack of information given to board members" by Hickey that it has "only recently been uncovered" that he signed contracts in January last year that "tie the council to" authorized ticket reseller THG Sports for the next four Olympics. Keane said that the OCI's lawyers were "looking at the contracts" but they were "pretty watertight." THG was "not allowed work on Ireland’s behalf because it was suspected of being involved in ticket touting and unauthorised hospitality events." On Monday, Keane revealed that Hickey signed contracts with THG for the Winter and Summer Games through '26. THG paid $1M for the rights to sell Irish tickets at London 2012 and Sochi 2014. It then paid $600,000 for Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018, but was rejected by both organizing committees (LONDON TIMES, 8/15).

FRUSTRATING PEEK
: In Dublin, Johnny Watterson wrote the legacy of Hickey has been a "legal quagmire and so far with no resolution." The Moran report into the 2016 Olympic Games "set out as a fact-finding exercise with no powers to compel people to speak and found shutters coming down from Rio to Lausanne, and from Dublin to London." The Rio Organizing Committee, which "started the ball rolling" by rejecting Hickey's first choice, THG, "did not even reply to Judge Moran's emails." The report was a "frustrating peek into the workings of the OCI and IOC as a 12-week timetable became one-year long" with a bill of €312,000 ($366,400) (IRISH TIMES, 8/15).
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