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Stephen Martin resigns as chief executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland

Stephen Martin has stood down as chief executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Picture by Leo Correa, Associated Press

THE Bangor-born chief executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland has stepped down from his role.

Stephen Martin, from Co Down, who won an Olympic gold in hockey with the British team in 1988, left yesterday to "pursue other career interests", the council said.

However, he will stay on as chef de mission for the Irish team at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Mr Martin had been chief executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) since 2006. He was previously deputy chief executive of the British Olympic Association.

"I would particularly like to pay tribute to the athletes for their tremendous contribution to Irish sport," he said.

"As a former Olympian I recognise the commitment, dedication and sacrifices required. It has been my privilege and honour to work with them and I wish them every success in their sporting careers."

OCI President Sarah Keane said: "On behalf of the OCI Board I wish to acknowledge Stephen's hard work and service to the Irish Olympic movement.

"Stephen's experience and relationships with national and international sporting bodies were of value to the OCI over the past decade. As Stephen leaves to pursue other interests we wish him the very best for the future."

Martin's departure comes amid extensive changes at the OCI following last year's Rio Games.

Team Ireland was hit by scandal after then OCI president Pat Hickey was arrested by Brazilian police on charges of ticket-touting.

Hickey's trial is due to begin shortly.

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