Rio 2016: Head of European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, arrested

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Brazilian police have arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

Hickey, 71, is accused of illegally passing on tickets for the Rio Olympics to be resold at exorbitant prices.

Hickey, who is reported to have been hospitalised after falling ill following his arrest, has not commented on the allegations.

Rio police say Hickey attempted to flee from his hotel room when officers arrived to arrest him.

The arrest of Hickey, who is also head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), is believed to be connected to the arrest of fellow Irishman Kevin James Mallon on 5 August, the day of the Olympics opening ceremony.

Mallon is the director of THG Sports, a corporate and sports hospitality company based in London, which is accused of illegally reselling tickets to Rio 2016 events. When he was arrested, he was found to be in possession of more than 800 top class Olympic tickets.

THG claims Mallon had no plans to resell the hundreds of tickets in his possession, but was holding them for collection by clients of Pro 10 Management, the official authorised Irish ticket reseller.

In the wake of Mallon’s arrest, the OCI said it would launch an investigation into the ticket sales, but has come under fire for rejecting calls for an independent inquiry in the affair.

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