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Timeline: Irish Olympic ticket-sale scandal

Olympics tickets Image copyright PA
Image caption Brazilian police say more than 700 tickets were found

The performance of the Republic of Ireland's athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics was overshadowed by allegations of illegal ticket sales involving senior Irish Olympic officials.

The alleged scheme - in which tickets were reportedly being sold for many times their face value - could have netted of 10m reals (£2.4m; $3.1m), police say.

The arrest of Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey made headlines around the world.

The former judo international has denied any wrongdoing and has formally stood aside as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland and European Olympic Committees' president during the investigation.

Here is how events have unfolded:

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pat Hickey has denied any wrongdoing

Friday 5 August 2016:

On the day of the Olympics opening ceremony, Rio police arrest Kevin Mallon, director of THG Sports, a corporate and sports hospitality company based in London.

More than 700 tickets organised in envelopes clearly marked for sale are found in a safe with Mr Mallon, police said.


Wednesday 10 August 2016:

In an email seen by RTE News, Pro 10 Sports Management, the OCI's authorised ticket re-seller in Ireland informs the organisers of the Rio games that:

"At no time did we authorise Mr Mallon to sell any tickets on our behalf nor to the best of our knowledge did he sell any tickets. He merely acted as a collection point for individuals transacting directly with ourselves."

The OCI says it is launching an immediate investigation, adding that it "strictly adheres to the International Olympic Committee regulations around ticket allocation, sale and re-sale".

"We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness," it says.


Sunday 14 August 2016:

Irish Sports Minister Shane Ross arrives in Rio for a meeting with Pat Hickey.

Mr Ross describes the meeting as "fairly tense, fairly direct and fairly frank", and calls for an independent investigation.

Mr Hickey says the meeting was "excellent".


Who's who in Irish Olympic tickets controversy?

  • Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) - The state-funded body responsible for selecting, training and preparing Irish athletes to take part in the summer and winter Olympics
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) - The leading organiser of the Olympic games and the highest authority in the Olympic movement
  • Pat Hickey - The president of the Olympic Council of Ireland
  • THG Sports - A corporate and sports hospitality company based in London
  • Pro 10 Management - An Irish sports management company that was appointed by the OCI as its authorised ticket reseller in Ireland
  • Shane Ross - The Irish sports minister

Monday 15 August 2016:

A Brazilian judge orders the arrest of four THG Sports executives.

Marcus Evans and Martin Studd from the UK, Irishman David Patrick Gilmore and Dutchman Maarten Van Os are not believed to be in Brazil.

Police say they will be pursuing the matter via Interpol.


Wednesday 17 August 2016:

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPatrick Hickey is suspected of being involved in selling tickets for higher than their face value

Pat Hickey is dramatically arrested by police at his luxury hotel. His Olympic credentials and passport are seized.

Mr Hickey complains of a heart problem and spends a night in hospital.


Thursday 18 August 2016:

Pat Hickey temporarily stands down from his positions as president of the OCI, president of the European Olympic Committees and member of the executive board of the International Olympic Committee.

The OCI says in a statement that Mr Hickey is stepping aside "until this matter is fully resolved" and would continue to co-operate and assist with all inquiries.

Acting OCI President William O'Brien says the council will "defend ourselves to the hilt".

Mr Hickey is questioned by police, denied bail by a judge and sent to Rio's notorious Bangu 10 prison.


Friday 19 August 2016:

The Olympic Committee of Ireland (OCI) announces it will commission an independent inquiry into their handling of the Rio Olympics ticketing.


Saturday 20 August 2016:

Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon are reported to be sharing a cell in Bangu prison.


Sunday 21 August 2016:

Brazilian police seize the passports, phones and laptops of three senior OCI officials.

RTE and the Irish Times say the officials are OCI Chief Executive Stephen Martin, a former Olympic hockey gold medal winner, OCI Secretary General Dermot Henihan and Kevin Kilty, Ireland's Olympic chef de mission.

No arrests are made and there is nothing to suggest impropriety on the part of the three men, reports say.

In Dublin, the OCI Executive Council appoints a three-person crisis management subcommittee to lead its response to the crisis.


Tuesday 23 August 2016:

OCI official Dermot Henihan is told he will have his passport returned after being questioned by police.

In a statement, lawyers for Pat Hickey said that he "did not try to escape arrest" and that the claims are "ridiculous".

Meanwhile, police in Rio say they have found emails linking Mr Hickey and the head of a company alleged to have illegally resold Olympic tickets.


Wednesday 24 August 2016:

OCI officials Stephen Martin and Kevin Kilty are questioned for four hours by police.

Police said the men had never been anything other than assistance to them as important witnesses.

Meanwhile retired judge Carroll Moran is appointed to lead the Irish government's inquiry into the ticket controversy.


Friday 26 August 2016:

Irish foreign minister Charlie Flanagan agrees to meet Pat Hickey's family after they expressed "grave concerns" over his health and continued imprisonment.

In a statement, they outlined various areas of concerns including his right to a fair hearing and "pre-trial disclosure of evidence to media without any right of reply".

The Olympic Committee of Ireland appoints Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review into its ticketing procedures for the Rio Olympics.


Sunday 28 August 2016:

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Kevin Mallon (right) left prison without making any comment

Kevin Mallon, director of THG Sports, is released on bail after a decision by the Supreme Court in Brasilia.


Tuesday 30 August 2016:

Pat Hickey is released from Bangu Prison and placed under house arrest.

A judge recommends the move, citing Mr Hickey's "critical health".


Monday 5 September 2016:

Kevin Mallon faces further questioning by police at the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police headquarters. He is released following the meeting.


Tuesday 6 September 2016:

The public prosecutors office in Rio de Janeiro formally lays charges against Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon.

A judge will decide whether to accept or reject the charges against the duo and eight others who were also listed in the charges.


Saturday 10 September 2016:

Judge Juliana Leal de Melo accepts the charges against Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon.

The judge ordered that the passports of Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon be retained.


Thursday 3 November 2016:

The Olympic Committee of Ireland (OCI) suspends publication of the Grant Thornton review into their own handling of ticketing for Rio.

In a statement the OCI said:

"The Grant Thornton review into ticketing arrangements in Rio will be postponed and completed only following the conclusion of criminal proceedings against Mr Pat Hickey in Rio."

"This decision was taken following the receipt of a letter from Mr Hickey's lawyers this week in which he threatened to make an application to the High Court for an injunction preventing the completion of the review."

"The Executive Committee has decided not to incur the very significant additional cost of defending any such legal proceedings."


Monday 12 December 2016:

RTE reports that a judge permitted Pat Hickey to return to Ireland following the payment of a 1.5m Brazilian real (approximately €410,000) bond.


Thursday 9 February 2017:

Image copyright ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Image caption Sarah Keane

Sarah Keane is elected President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), taking over from acting President Willie O'Brien.


Monday 14 August 2017:

Retired judge Carroll Moran's report into the ticketing controversy is due to be published.

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