Rio police seek charges against 10 in ticket scalping ring

Thu Sep 8, 2016 5:52pm EDT
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By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian police recommended on Thursday that 10 people be charged in a ticket-touting ring uncovered at the Rio Games, including the man who until recently was Europe's top Olympic official.

They also said they hope International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach will provide witness testimony in the case, although they added that he is not a suspect.

"If Bach were to return to Brazil we would certainly like to hear from him," said inspector Ronaldo Oliveira.

He said some of those charged had asked Bach directly for more tickets - and that he had apparently provided them.

"Is it Bach's job to deal with these tickets? That is something we would like to know," Oliveira said.

Bach failed to return to Brazil for Wednesday's opening of the Paralympics, instead attending a friend's funeral in Germany. The International Paralympic Committee confirmed Bach would not return to Brazil for any of the events.

Among those against whom police are seeking charges are Patrick Hickey, former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Martin Burke, the Irish council's sports director, and Kevin Mallon, a director of international sports hospitality company THG Sports.

Police said they are seeking charges against seven other people: four other THG officials and three from Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management, Ireland's official Olympic Games ticket reseller.   Continued...

Former top European member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Patrick Hickey,  leaves a police station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes