Olympic Official Arrested For Alleged Ticket Scalping

An Olympic official who represents Europe was arrested this week for supposedly illegally selling tickets to the Rio Games for high prices at the venue.

Purchasing a ticket to the Rio Olympics is pricey enough as it is, yet one Olympic official decided to allegedly sell the tickets to the Games for above face value illegally.

Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees and the Olympic Council of Ireland, was arrested at his Rio hotel on Wednesday for plotting to illegally sell tickets to the Games for outrageously high prices and for forming a cartel, the Los Angeles Times reports

Hickey’s other charges include illegally marketing the expensive tickets he planned to sell.

Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said that the incident “involves 1,000 tickets…involves the NOC (National Olympic Committee) of Ireland, which has already launched an inquiry.”

Briefly after police arrested the Olympic official at his hotel, he was hospitalized because he was “feeling sick.”

The Olympic Council of Ireland spoke in a statement regarding Hickey’s health and controversial scheme stating, “In light of this morning's developments and his ill health, Mr Hickey has taken the decision to step aside temporarily as President of the OCI and all other Olympic functions (IOC member in Ireland, European Olympic Committee President, Association of National Olympic Committees Vice President) until this matter is fully resolved.”

The police stated that potential profits of the alleged scheme would have been $3.1 million, according to BBC News

The ticket scalping incident is allegedly linked to THG Sports Director, Kevin Mallon’s illegal ticket profiting in which police suspected he planned to sell fake tickets for $7,800 each.

Along with being arrested, Hickey’s passport and Olympic identification were seized in Rio.

It’s a shame that even a vital leader in the Olympic committee would succumb to illegally selling tickets just to make extra money. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters

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