Hickey returns to Ireland, vows to clear name
DUBLIN – Ireland’s former Olympic chief Pat Hickey returned to Dublin and said he will continue to fight to clear his name after being charged in Brazil in August over an alleged scheme to sell Olympic tickets illegally.
Hickey was allowed to return home after posting 1.5 million reais ($442,282) in bail lat week. The money was loaned to him by an umbrella body representing national Olympic committees.
The 71-year-old said in a statement he was innocent of the charges and that he would continue to cooperate with the Brazilian authorities.
“I have returned to Ireland where I will undergo ongoing medical treatment under the care of my medical consultant,” Hickey said. “It has been an extremely traumatic few months for myself and my family. Once again I wish to state that I am totally innocent of all charges against me.
“I intend to adhere to any requests made by the Brazilian authorities and I will do everything possible to clear my name so that I can, in due course, get on with my life with my wife and family.”
Hickey, who was arrested in August at a luxury beachfront hotel and spent time in a maximum security prison, thanked the body of Olympic committees for putting up the bail money that allowed him to get his passport back and leave Brazil.
“I am very grateful to the International Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) for so generously putting up the necessary funding to secure my release for my return to Ireland,” he said.