Pat Hickey: Ex-Irish Olympic chief quits International Olympic Committee board

Pat Hickey
Pat Hickey is facing Brazilian charges of ticket touting, running a cartel and illicit marketing

Ireland's former Olympic chief Pat Hickey has resigned from the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board.

Hickey is facing charges in Brazil over alleged ticket touting after his arrest in Rio at last year's Olympic Games.

The 72-year-old, who insists he is innocent of all charges, was eventually released on bail and is now in Ireland.

An IOC statement said that Hickey had resigned from the IOC board with "immediate effect".

"In his resignation letter, Mr Hickey emphasised that he wants to protect the IOC and to ensure that the interests of the national Olympic committees are represented on the executive board," said the statement.

"He also reiterated his innocence in respect of all charges and confirmed that he hopes to exercise his functions as an IOC member in the future."

Hickey was top European official at IOC

The vacant seat on the board will be filled by an election during this week's IOC gathering in the Peruvian capital Lima.

Hickey, the former top European official at the IOC, was charged by Brazilian investigators in September over an alleged scheme to sell Rio Games tickets illegally.

After being arrested at the Rio Games 13 month ago, Hickey spent almost two weeks in a Rio prison before being formally charged by a Brazilian judge.

He was allowed to return home to Ireland last December after the Association of National Olympic Committees contributed money which helped him pay his bail bond which was close to £350,000.

Two weeks ago, the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) said it would not accept the return of its former long-serving president Hickey to its board.

An Irish Government-commissioned report into the Rio ticketing controversy was published in early August.

The OCI said that it accepted all the report's findings, which included criticism of previous Games ticket arrangements.

A vote last February saw Sarah Keane becoming the new OCI president.

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