IOC member indicted in Brazil for tickets fraud

Rio de Janeiro: A Brazilian court has indicted International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Patrick Hickey for a ticket-scalping scheme that operated during last month's 2016 Rio Games.

Judge Juliana Leal de Melo on Monday ruled that Hickey, who was arrested August 17 here, can remain free pending trial, but must wear an ankle monitor and report in person to the court every month to ensure that he obeys a prohibition on leaving Brazil, reports Xinhua.

The Irishman occupies a seat on the IOC Executive Board. The 71-year-old Hickey has stepped down temporarily from his posts as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland and head of the European Olympic Committee.

Nine other people were indicted along with Hickey, including his compatriot Kevin Mallon, an executive with the firm THG Sports who was in possession of some 1,000 tickets for the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony when he was detained on August 5 by Brazilian police.

The Olympic Committee of Ireland hired the company Pro10 Sports Management as its authorized ticket reseller for the Rio Olympics. But some of those OCI-allocated tickets ended up in the hands of THG Sports, which sold them at nearly five times their face value.

Brazilian police have sought to question IOC President Thomas Bach about an e-mail sent to him by Hickey requesting an additional 500 tickets for various Olympic events.

While investigators could not find any e-mail response from Bach, the OCI did receive an extra 296 tickets.

Bach did not return to Brazil for the opening of the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, becoming the first IOC President since 1984 to miss the ceremony.