Pat Hickey, the head of the European Olympic Committees and a member of the Irish Olympic Committee, was arrested in Rio last night for his alleged involvement in a ticket-scalping scheme. The arrest was first reported by Brazilian newspaper Estadao.
Update (11:19 a.m.): Here is video of the arrest. There’s blurred old-man ass!
Hickey’s arrest is just the latest in a series that have been made by the Rio police department in an attempt to crack down on illegal ticket scalping. Last week, police arrested two people associated with a London-based hospitality firm called THG, which has been accused of illegally re-selling Olympic tickets at well above face value.
National Olympic committees are given an allotment tickets that can be re-sold through authorized hospitality firms, but THG is reportedly not one of those firms. The police were led to Hickey when some of the tickets they seized from THG were discovered to have come from the Irish Olympic Committee. Hickey’s arrest suggests that police believe he had a part in funneling tickets from the Irish Olympic Committee to THG.
Hickey was arrested in his hotel room, and the BBC reports that he attempted to escape when officers came for him:
Police say the suspect, who also heads the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), tried to escape when they came for him.
They say he slid his Olympic pass under the door when police came knocking and fled into the adjacent hotel room, where his son had been staying until recently.
Hickey also reportedly fell ill shortly after he was arrested, and was taken to the hospital to receive medical attention.