IOC member Hickey moved to Rio prison during ticket probe
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) European Olympic head Patrick Hickey of Ireland has been transferred to a prison in the closing days of the Rio Games while under investigation in a ticket-scalping scandal, authorities said Friday.
The 71-year-old International Olympic Committee executive was denied bail after his legal team argued unsuccessfully that he was being detained illegally following his early-morning arrest Wednesday at his hotel.
Police only began questioning Hickey on Thursday because he was hospitalized for a day with chest pains following his arrest. Hickey has now been transferred to the sprawling Bangu prison complex in Rio, a police statement said.
Hickey has temporarily stepped aside from his IOC duties, including his post on the ruling executive board and heading the influential umbrella group for Europe's Olympic bodies.
Hickey is facing charges of conspiracy, ticket scalping and ambush marketing after Brazilian authorities alleged he was part of a plot to make $3 million by illegally selling Rio Games tickets above face value.
Police said Ireland's Olympic body helped transfer tickets to an unauthorized vendor who would set high fees and disguise the transaction as a hospitality package.
The Olympic Council of Ireland said it will ''cooperate fully'' with any state inquiry at home into the ticketing scandal.
''The OCI will now also commission its own independent inquiry into the ticketing arrangements for Rio 2016,'' the Dublin-based organization said. ''The previously announced internal inquiry by the OCI has been discontinued.''
Kevin James Mallon, from the British hospitality provider THG, was arrested in Rio last week. Authorities have also issued warrants for four more executives at the company.
Some Irish tickets for the Olympics' opening ceremony with a face value of $1,400 were sold for $8,000, police said.