Olympic Council of Ireland will 'defend itself to the hilt' in wake of Rio ticket controversy

OCI president Pat Hickey remains in hospital following his arrest in Brazil yesterday

Olympic Council of Ireland will 'defend itself to the hilt' in wake of Rio ticket controversy

Vice-President of the Irish Olympic Council, William O'Brien outside the Hospital Samaritano in Rio ©INPHO/James Crombie

Sports Minister Shane Ross is to meet with the Attorney General tomorrow to discuss the ticketing scandal.

Minister Ross is en route back to Ireland from Brazil after a dramatic week for Irish sport.

Pat Hickey remained in hospital overnight following his arrest in Rio yesterday over the alleged ticket touting controversy.

The president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) said he will step down temporarily following the arrest.

The OCI last night said Mr Hickey (71) is expected to remain in Samaritano Hospital with chest pains for a further 24 hours "in view of his previous cardiac history". 

His condition is described as stable.

The council says Mr Hickey will continue to cooperate with all ongoing enquiries until the matter is resolved.

The OCI has denied any wrongdoing whatsoever in relation to the ticket touting scandal.

Speaking to Channel 7 News, interim president William O'Brien said the council will "defend ourselves to the hilt".

Journalist Jamil Chade in Brazil broke the story of Mr Hickey's arrest, and spoke to Pat Kenny about how the investigation is proceeding.

"[Authorities] have released some information pointing out they will be investigating all the material they got from Mr Hickey, especially an iPad he had with him" Jamil explained.

A view of the Hospital Samaritano in Rio ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The controversy has seen the arrest of another Irish man, Kevin Mallon, who allegedly had hundreds of tickets earmarked for team Ireland.

Pro 10 Sports Management, the OCI's official Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR), last week issued a statement on the matter.

They say they have acted fully and properly within the reseller guidelines.

"We should also note that it is normal practise for ATRs to have available many tickets in Rio for collection and sale through the authorised processes at games time," the statement said.

"Many ATR's would have several thousand rather than hundreds of tickets in their possession at an ATR house."

Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey's passport and accreditation on show during today's police press conference | Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Mr Hickey's arrest prompted Sports Minister Shane Ross to cut short his trip to Rio and return to Dublin to consult with his officials and the Attorney General.

In a statement, Minister Ross said: "Given the seriousness of this matter, and in the interests of taking swift and decisive action, I will be returning to Dublin as quickly as possible."

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport, Imelda Munster, says she wants to see more action from the minister over the ticketing controversy.

"Minister Ross must now act as quickly as he can and establish a separate external inquiry - an independent inquiry," she said.