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Rio transport shambles for Team Ireland stars revealed


OCI president: Pat Hickey

OCI president: Pat Hickey

OCI president: Pat Hickey

Irish athletes competing at the Rio Olympics last year were forced to use public transport to reach their events because of a lack of accreditation.

The judge-led inquiry into the ticket scandal that marred Team Ireland's participation at the Games has reported a series of problems with how the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) treated athletes, coaches and supporters.

Many families who travelled 8,500km to Brazil had to do so without any guarantee they would be able to obtain tickets for events.

Judge Carroll Moran concluded that the company responsible for looking after Ireland's ticket allocation, Pro10, "provided an inadequate service as an authorised ticket reseller to such an extent that it was unfit for its purpose".

He added: "The ineffective and chaotic service provided by PRO10 resulted in a substantial level of complaints from athletes, their relatives and friends, from members of the Sports Federation and from the public."

The judge found that Ireland initially sought 2,138 public tickets for the Games - but excluded sports like boxing, golf, rowing and sailing, where there were genuine medal hopes.

Irish Transport Minister Shane Ross is due to release the report today, but it is expected to reveal major failings on the part of the OCI.

However, the judge was unable to build up a full picture of what happened to all of the tickets allocated to Ireland for the Games.

He blamed a lack of co-operation from players including former OCI president Pat Hickey, the International Olympic Committee and the Rio Organising Committee for gaps in his narrative.

The father of one athlete told the inquiry how the allocation of accreditation for the Games was chaotic. In some instances athletes and coaches were sharing accreditation and the inquiry heard athletes without passes had to travel by public bus.

"The result of the shortage of accreditation is that often athletes would have to share coaches, and often accreditation would not be provided to specialist coaches," the report stated.

Belfast Telegraph