Europe

Olympic ticket scandal: Pat Hickey vows to fight charges

Patrick Hickey Image copyright JACK GUEZ/AFP
Image caption Pat Hickey said he would "vigorously defend his good name and character"

Irish Olympic official Pat Hickey has said he is "completely innocent" after being charged in Brazil over an alleged ticket scam at the Rio Olympics.

Mr Hickey, along with Irishman Kevin Mallon, is one of 10 people facing a number of charges in relation to the alleged illegal ticket sales.

The former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president was dramatically arrested in his hotel room in August.

It is expected that the court case may not take place for 18 months.

In a statement, Mr Hickey said he would "fight each and every one" of the charges.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Pat Hickey said he was confident he would be "discharged of all accusations"

"I have just received formal notification from the Brazilian authorities of the charges laid against me.

"For clarity, I am not under house arrest as, like with so many things with this case, has been misreported by the media."

He added: "I am completely innocent of all such charges and I will also vigorously defend my good name and character that I have spent my lifetime building through voluntary service for numerous sporting bodies.

"I believe in the Brazilian judicial system and I am confident that I will be discharged of all accusations."

Mr Hickey said he would make no further comment until the case is over.

The former OCI president stood down from his role temporarily after his arrest.

Mr Mallon, a Dublin-based director of THG Sports, is also facing charges in relation to the alleged ticket sales scam.

On Friday, police in Brazil said an arrest warrant was being sought for another Irish man, Martin Burke, the sports director of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

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