OCI seeks 'total clarity' on Hickey arrest reports

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) says it is "seeking total clarity" on reports that its President Patrick Hickey has been arrested in Brazil over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

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Reports in the Brazilian media say Patrick Hickey has been arrested for passing on tickets to be re-sold at extortionate prices.

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) says it is "seeking total clarity" on reports that its President Patrick Hickey has been arrested in Brazil over illegal Olympic ticket sales.

Reports in the Brazilian media say Hickey was arrested at a hotel for Olympic officials in Rio's posh Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, near the main Olympic sites, for passing on tickets to be re-sold at extortionate prices. He reportedly fell ill during his arrest and was taken to hospital.

It is claimed by the Brazilian media that Hickey's arrest is in connection with that of countryman Kevin Mallon, who is alleged to have passed OCI tickets to THG Sports. Mallon is a director of the company.

The OCI released a statement in reaction to the reports and says it will ascertain the full facts before commenting further.

"The OCI is aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further," read a brief statement on the OCI's official website.

Hickey, who is also president of the European Olympic Committee, is also reported to have received medical attention after falling ill following his arrest.

Earlier, Rio city police acted to "carry out an arrest warrant and search warrant against Patrick Joseph Hickey, from Ireland, a member of the International Olympic Committee," police said in a statement.

Rio police added that they had confiscated about 1,000 tickets that were being sold far above face value, mostly for popular events like the opening ceremony. Some appeard to be marked with the name of the Olympic Committee of Ireland.