Bach to skip Games as ticket probe continues

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaking on stage at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Aug 21, 2016.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaking on stage at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Aug 21, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO • The International Olympic Committee president is set to miss the Paralympics as it emerged that police in Brazil want to question him about e-mails they have uncovered as part of an investigation into black market tickets.

The IOC said that Thomas Bach "has no plans to travel to Brazil" after he pulled out of attending Wednesday's opening ceremony, the first time that an IOC president has missed the event since 1984.

Pat Hickey, an Irish member of the IOC's executive board, remains in Brazil after he was among 10 people charged with ticket-touting offences and conspiracy at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

He is on bail after being released from a high-security prison, and e-mails that he sent to Bach asking for almost 1,000 extra tickets for the most high-profile Olympic events form part of the police investigation.

There are said to be 65 e-mail exchanges between the pair dating to 2014, but police investigator Aloysio Falcao said that the authorities have no evidence that Bach knew of the alleged ticket scam.

Brazil's Globo News has obtained a copy of an e-mail in which Hickey gives Bach a comparison of the ticket allocations received by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. Hickey states that the OCI received 84 tickets for the opening ceremony in London but only 38 for Rio.

He also delivers a "wishlist" to Bach demanding 980 extra tickets, including 200 tickets for the men's 100m final and 500 tickets for the men's football final.

The IOC has promised to co-operate with Brazilian authorities in the ticket-touting investigation.

In another incident related to the Olympics, Ryan Lochte has been handed a 10-month ban by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming after being charged by Brazilian police with filing a false robbery report.

The 32-year-old swimmer will miss next year's world championships due to the ban.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'Bach to skip Games as ticket probe continues'. Print Edition | Subscribe