Reports: Irish IOC chief Patrick Hickey arrested in Rio

Tanner Walters
Patrick Hickey, a member of the International Olympic Committee, speaks at a conference in 2015. (Getty)
Patrick Hickey, an executive member of the International Olympic Committee, speaks at a conference in 2015. (Getty)

Rio de Janeiro authorities arrested IOC executive committee member Patrick Hickey on Wednesday morning, according to multiple reports. The head of the European Olympic committee is being accused of illegally scalping tickets for the Summer Games currently being held in Rio.

Brazilian newspaper Estadao reported that Hickey was arrested at the “Olympic Family Hotel” in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. There have also been reports that Hickey was taken to the hospital after feeling ill at the moment of his arrest, and that his Olympic credentials were also seized by police.

The AP reports that Hickey is suspected of participating in the action “with at least six others” and that agents have seized more than 1,000 tickets that had been sold for high fees after being allocated by the Olympic Council of Ireland. Another Irish executive was arrested in the same probe last week.

“Continuing our investigation, civil police discovered the involvement of Patrick in the international scheme of ticket scalping,” the Rio police fraud unit told the Associated Press.

“We are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further,” the Olympic Council of Ireland said in a statement on its website.

A document apparently associated with the “act of arrest” circulated on Twitter:

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Hickey, 71, has been a member of the IOC executive board since 2012 and President of the Olympic Council of Ireland since 1989. Hickey is a former Irish judo athlete.

Brazilian reporter Jamil Chade tweeted that his credentials for the hotel where Hickey was staying had been revoked by the IOC.

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The IOC’s daily press briefing is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET. More to come.