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Fury of Irish minister over 'illegal' sale of Rio tickets

By Ed Carty

Published 16/08/2016

Ireland’s Sports Minister has said he is stunned by the Olympic Council of Ireland’s (OCI) refusal to answer questions about the alleged illegal sale of tickets for the Rio games.

Shane Ross flew into Brazil yesterday for a showdown with OCI president Pat Hickey and accused him of burying his head in the sand over the scandal.

Irish man Kevin Mallon, a director of THG Sports, which specialises in corporate and sports hospitality, has been detained in Rio for more than a week over the affair.

He was arrested after police seized about 1,000 tickets for the Olympics in a hotel, some of which were part of the Irish allocation.

PRO10, the OCI’s authorised ticket reseller, said it had legitimate customers for its tickets and Mr Mallon was acting as a collection agent for them in Rio, meeting clients.

Mr Ross said Mr Hickey claimed barristers advised the OCI not to discuss the case for fear it will prejudice any potential trial.

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