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NI Olympic official gets his passport back today

By Cathal McMahon

Published 26/08/2016

Questions: Stephen Martin arrives to speak to police in northern Rio
Questions: Stephen Martin arrives to speak to police in northern Rio

Two Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) executives - including one from Northern Ireland - are to get their passports back today after they were interviewed by Rio police for more than three hours.

It formed part of an investigation into alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympics.

Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty and CEO Stephen Martin, who is from Bangor, Co Down, arrived at the station shortly after 5.30pm GMT yesterday dressed in Team Ireland tracksuits.

Last night, Ronaldo Oliveira, of the civil police told reporters that the men are witnesses, not suspects. "We continue to retain the passports of all three men. There is a high chance that they will get their passports back tomorrow," he said.

"We are very content with the quality of the statements."

Earlier, Mr Kilty told reporters "we are here to cooperate" before entering the Cidade de Policia (Police City) in northern Rio.

Police wanted to speak to them about alleged ticket touting at the Rio Olympics.

Mr Martin is one of only four people from Northern Ireland to have won Olympic gold. He was in the winning GB hockey team in Seoul in 1988.

Former OCI president Pat Hickey (71) has been detained at Gericino penitentiary in West Rio since last Friday. He has been formally accused under Brazilian law of ticket touting, running a cartel and illicit marketing.

On Sunday, police seized passports belonging to Mr Kilty and Mr Martin and that of fellow board member Honorary General Secretary Dermot Henihan.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the three.

Mr Henihan met police on Tuesday and they told him that he was free to return to Ireland.

Warrants were also issued for the seizure of passports belonging to OCI vice president John Delaney, acting OCI president Willie O'Brien and personal assistant Linda O'Reilly. They were not in Brazil at the time of the court order.

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