No request from Brazilian police to interview Bach: IOC

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 10 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that it has not received any request from Brazilian police to interview its president Thomas Bach in relation to an Olympic ticketing racket.

In a statement on Friday, the IOC said: “Neither the IOC nor the IOC President have been contacted by any Brazilian authority concerning a request for information. The IOC is in this respect only informed by media,” reports Xinhua news agency.

On Thursday, the Brazilian police announced that they wanted to interview Bach for his alleged links to a ring that sought to illegally sell tickets at a marked-up cost during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

According to Ronaldo Oliveira, a senior police officer, the investigation would call on Bach as a witness to clarify certain allegations found in e-mails that named him as part of the ring.

On August 17, police arrested Patrick Hickey, who was president then of the Irish Olympic Committee, and Irish businessman Kevin Mallon in connection with this ticketing scandal.

During the Games, police seized 781 tickets which they alleged were going to be sold on the black market.

The investigation has also found an e-mail from Hickey to Bach, asking for 500 extra tickets to various events. While no reply was made to that specific e-mail, shortly after, the IOC delivered a further 296 tickets to the Irish committee.

On Friday, Rio’s Police Commissioner Aloysio Falcao clarified at a press conference that Bach would be called as a witness if he came to Brazil but added “this does not make him a suspect in the case”.

Earlier this week, the IOC announced that Bach had no plans to attend the Paralympic Games, being held from September 7-18 in Rio, stating that he was to attend a ceremony in honor of the deceased former German president Walter Scheel.

While Hickey and Mallon have been released from prison, their passports were retained by a judge, keeping them in Brazil while investigations continue. Hickey has since temporarily resigned from the Irish Olympic Committee and other posts related to the Olympic Games.

–IANS

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