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Hickey Criticizes Moran Report as Document Clears Him of Criminal Wrongdoing

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A salesman delivers tickets to a sport fan after he bought them at the 2016 Rio Olympics ticket office in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, June 20, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Patrick Hickey has criticized Justice Cearbhall Moran’s report into the Olympic Council of Ireland’s (OCI) ticket controversy at Rio 2016 as the document cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

Hickey, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), claims the report contains “significant inaccuracies.”

The 226-page document alleges that there was a “failure by so many principal participants” to cooperate with the inquiry, including Hickey, the IOC and Rio 2016.

Moran’s report also claims there may be “information significant to issues herein of which the inquiry is unaware by reason of the silence of the parties not participating.”

In response, Hickey claimed that he was told not to help with the investigation pending the outcome of Brazilian proceedings against him, launched after he was arrested during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The former OCI President has still not been put on trial in Brazil.

The report was also hampered by the fact it could not compel anyone involved to come forward or cooperate.

Despite the allegations against him in the South American country – reportedly including criminal organization, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering and tax evasion – the 72-year-old has always denied the charges and said he is “looking forward to resuming my international Olympic duties.”

The report was also scathing about the deals between the OCI and THG Sports and claims the agreement with the ticketing company was used to disguise the continuing role of THG.

THG was rejected as the Authorized Ticket Reseller for the OCI by Rio 2016.

Pro10, set up by THG, then took over but their ticket service has been blasted as “unfit for purpose” and was described as “chaotic” in the report.

Moran believes that Hickey was more concerned with the commercial arrangements of the OCI’s deal with THG, owned by Britain’s Marcus Evans, than ensuring that supporters from Ireland wanting to attend the Olympic Games were properly serviced.

“I have read the report of Judge Carroll Moran S.C. and while the report contains significant inaccuracies I am pleased to see my reputation and good name have been cleared in that there is no allegation of criminality or financial impropriety,” Hickey said in a statement sent to insidethegames.

“The report contains significant flaws and inaccurate assumptions.

“Because of the ongoing trial in Brazil now is not the time to address these serious inaccuracies, in time I propose on the proclamation of my innocence to address all issues.

“Regrettably the Moran Inquiry has failed to include the full suite of correspondence between my solicitors and the Moran Inquiry that addressed all of the issues in dispute.”

In a continuation of their bitter dispute, Hickey blames Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross for the cost of the report, thought to be $369,000 since the inquiry began in September of last year.

“On the 16th of August 2016 a procedure was agreed as and between the OCI, the Chairman of Sport Ireland and Minister Ross whereby a committee of inquiry comprising representatives to include the Assistant Secretary of the Minister’s Department would be empowered and entitled to look into the subject matter of the remit of the Moran Inquiry,” Hickey said.

“Had this procedure been implemented it would have resulted in substantial saving to the Irish taxpayer, the OCI and other participants in the Moran Inquiry to include myself.

“It is regrettable that the Minister did not bring to the attention of Dail Eireann the procedure he agreed on in or around the 16th of August 2016.”

Hickey was arrested during the Olympic Games on August 17 and is currently at home in Ireland waiting to find out whether he will ever stand trial.

Moran employed forensic lawyers to study the OCI’s accountancy practices and did not find any mismanagement of funds.

The report is critical, however, that a sterling bank account set up with Lloyds Bank before London 2012 continued to be used by the OCI after those Olympic Games.

Hickey is criticized for a number of governance issues, including failing to keep proper records of all meetings of the OCI Executive Committee.

An annual honorarium of  $71,000 paid by the OCI to Hickey is also questioned.

“At all times I acted in the best interests of the Olympic Council of Ireland with a view to maximizing revenue for the Olympic Council of Ireland which in turn was channeled into the management of current and future Olympic athletes in Ireland,” said Hickey.

“Sponsorship is the life blood of sport and more particularly successful Olympic participation.

“At the time I announced my retirement in January 2016 and subsequent thereto I left a credit amount in the bank account of the Olympic Council of Ireland to the order of $3 million.”

To read the full report click here.

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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