With the ANOC granting a temporary loan of 410,000 Euros, Patrick Hickey will be allowed to leave Brazil on bail. The payment was confirmed by an ANOC statement that reads: “The decision was unanimously approved by ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and all ANOC Vice-Presidents via a postal vote on 20 November 2016. The payment was made as a temporary loan so that Patrick Hickey could meet his bail requirements and return to Ireland where he can receive medical treatment for a heart condition. The terms of the temporary loan make it clear that it must be repaid to ANOC in full. For legal reasons, all other terms and conditions surrounding this bail payment will remain confidential.”
The then President of the European Olympic Committees was arrested in his hotel room in Rio de Janeiro on charges of ticket-touting when he was attending the Olympic Games in August. He was released after being held in prison for several days, but the authorities retained his passport. Last month a court in Rio ruled his passport should be returned to him and that he could return to Ireland “to treat a health problem” on condition he pays a bond to the court of 1.5 million Brazilian Reals (410,000 Euros).
According to The Irish Times, The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) ruled out any intervention in relation to the bond, describing it as a “personal matter.” As well as being OCI president and a member of the IOC, Patrick Hickey had also served as President of EOC and as a vice-president of ANOC, the official affiliation of the 206 national Olympic committees.
ANOC President Sheikh Al-Sabah reportedly was among those to speak out in his favor of Hickey at last month’s ANOC general assembly in Doha, referring to Hickey as our “dear VP”. IOC president Thomas Bach also touched on the subject in his keynote address, saying “we have to say, clearly, that as long as there is no result, our colleague enjoys the presumption of innocence.” As The Irish Times reports; the Crisis at OCI intensifies as the Rio ticket scandal is expected to cost over 750,000 Euros. “Olympic Council of Ireland’s crisis committee has been hung out to dry,” the newspaper says.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.