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Brazil to free Irish sports boss held over Rio tickets

A sports hospitality boss arrested by police in Rio over an alleged ticket touting operation is due to be released from preventative detention, his company has said.

Kevin Mallon, a director of THG Sports, has been in custody in Brazil since 5 August, after being arrested about Olympic tickets seized in a Rio hotel – some of which were part of the Irish allocation and were for the opening and closing ceremonies and the football final.

Rio tickets
The Olympic Council of Ireland’s authorized ticket reseller is Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management.

THG insists it had legitimate customers for its tickets and that Mallon was acting as their collection agent, meeting clients. THG and PRO10 deny any wrongdoing over ticket sales.

The stories you need to read, in one handy email Read more “Following intensive efforts by our lawyers in Brazil, THG welcomes the news that our colleague Kevin Mallon is short to be released from preventative detention in Rio,” THG said in a statement. “In line with our previous statements on this matter, THG has welcomed the public inquiry in Ireland into these matters and believes that the company and its executives will be vindicated when all of the evidence is reviewed.”

Mallon has been held alongside OCI president Pat Hickey, whose family last week urged the Irish government to intervene over his “degrading and humiliating” ordeal.

The 71-year-old Hickey was arrested at a hotel in the Barra da Tijuca area earlier this month. Rio police said he had been formally accused under Brazilian law of ticket touting, running a cartel, and illicit marketing. Hickey has denied any wrongdoing. Through a solicitor, his family said they were extremely concerned about the manner of his arrest, his detention in the high-security Bangu prison, and the impact on his health.

They also voiced worries about “pre-trial disclosure of what is purported to be evidence to the media” and Hickey’s “right to a fair hearing, given the prejudicial way in which he has been treated to date.”

Hickey has temporarily stepped aside from his roles as OCI president and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s ruling executive board, Graet Gossip.

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