Ireland's Rio 2016 tickets seller was 'unfit for purpose' and front for banned agent, says report
The company at the centre of the Irish ticketing scandal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which led to the arrest and imprisonment of the country's International Olympic Committee member Patrick Hickey, was "unfit for purpose," a report commissioned by the Irish government has found.
The Moran Inquiry said that Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management, which was appointed by the Olympic Council of Ireland as its ticketing agent for the games, was not genuine and provided a "chaotic service."
The report claims that PRO10 was actually a front for international sports hospitality company THG Sports, which the Rio 2016 organising committee had banned from being the OCI's authorised ticket seller.
It said: "It might appear that the appointment of Pro10 was to disguise the continuing involvement of Marcus Evans [the British businessman who controls THG] and THG in the sale of tickets in Ireland for the Rio Olympics. The invocation of the "right against self-incrimination" by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), THG, Pro10, and Mr Hickey created a major obstacle."
Retired judge Carroll Moran said the inquiry had been frustrated by a lack of co-operation from key players.
Hickey, the former OCI president, said in a statement he had received legal advice not to co-operate with the report in order to avoid prejudicing himself in relation to the criminal investigation in Brazil, but said the report contained "significant inaccuracies."
He added that he was "totally confident" he would be cleared of all charges.
While the Moran Inquiry found no evidence of criminal activity from Hickey, it was highly critical of his "autocratic" management style.
A year ago, Hickey, who sat on the IOC's executive committee and was president of the European Olympic Committees until his arrest, was detained at the Rio Olympics after being accused, along with nine others, of operating a ring.
In December, his bail was eventually posted courtesy of a loan of R$1.5 million ($470,000), from the Association of National Olympic Committees, and he returned to Dublin.