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Published: 12:09 | 17/8/16

Pat Hickey arrested in Rio

OCI president arrested on Wednesday

Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey has been arrested in Rio this morning as part of an investigation over illegal ticket sales.

Mr Hickey was arrested at the OCI's hotel in Barra da Tijucam, although he was taken ill at the time of his arrest and was transferred to a nearby hospital.

In a statement the OCI said: "The OCI is aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further. Any updates will be made via the OCI website."

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "We are aware of a case and stand ready to provide consular assistance if requested."

Speaking at a news conference in Rio, police revealed that Mr Hickey was not in his hotel room when they turned up and were informed by his wife that he had left for Ireland. However, he was subsequently discovered in another hotel room.

After complaining for feeling unwell, Mr Hickey was examined by a doctor and taken to a hospital in Barra.

Mr Hickey is facing three charges of facilitating ticket touting, formation of a cartel and ambush or illicit marketing and could be sentenced up to seven years in jail if found guilty.

At the news conference, his passport, Olympic credentials and air ticket were presented to the media, while it was also confirmed that warrants have been issued for the arrest of Pro 10 directors Michael Glynn, Ken Murray and Eamon Collins.

Police have confirmed that they have found evidence of communication between Mr Hickey and Marcus Evans on Hickey's phone.

Mr Hickey's detention follows on from the arrests of THG Sports director Kevin Mallon and interpreter Barbara Carnieri over allegations that Olympic tickets were sold on the black market in Brazil.

Mallon was found to be possession of over 800 tickets when he was arrested on the day of the opening ceremony. The tickets in question were earmarked for the OCI, but Mr Hickey has denied any impropriety from himself or anyone within the OCI.

Police issued arrest warrants for four THG Sports executives earlier this week with Rio's Civil Police Fraud Unit naming the four men as David Patrick Gilmore, Marcus Paul Bruce Evans, Martin Studd and Maarten Van Os.

Mr Hickey has stood down temporarily from his position with Willie O'Brien appointed interim president.

Speaking outside the hospital where Hickey is being treated, O'Brien told reporters: "His medical condition has been checked. He is stable at the moment and it will be monitored over the next 24 hours so there will be nothing happening here over the next 24 hours.

"He (Hickey) has made no comment because as you can understand he's having all sorts of tests so he has made no comment to us about the allegations. We have very little restricted access to him," O'Brien said outside the hospital.

"We will defend ourselves to the hilt."

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