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Police in Rio want to question IOC head over ticket allocation

Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Staff Reporter

POLICE in Rio have said they want to speak to the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of a ticket-scalping probe that has already led to the arrest of Ireland's highest Olympic official.

Officers said they want an explanation why the Republic's allocation of Summer Games tickets increased.

Investigators said the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) received 296 more tickets after exchanges between IOC head Thomas Bach and OCI president Patrick Hickey.

Hickey, who has stepped aside as OCI president, faces charges of conspiracy, ticket scalping and ambush marketing, with authorities accusing him of being part of a plot to make $3 million (£2.3 million) by illegally selling Rio Games tickets above face value.

Investigator Aloysio Falcao said they found a text from July 2015 sent from Hickey to Bach requesting more tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for football, basketball and 100-metre finals.

Bach cancelled his trip to the opening of the Paralympics in Rio on Wednesday. Police said he would have been summoned to speak to investigators.

However the IOC said yesterday it has not received any request from Brazilian police for information about the ticket-scalping investigation.

The IOC said: "Neither the IOC nor the IOC President have been contacted by any Brazilian authority concerning a request for information."

The committee said it would not comment further because it is "an ongoing legal procedure".

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