The former head of the European Olympic Committee (EOC), Ireland’s Patrick Hickey, has left prison in Rio de Janeiro. He vowed to clear his name as a probe continues into the illegal sale of tickets for the Games.
A Rio court on Monday ordered the release of the 71-year-old, who was also head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), but said he must remain in Brazil and surrender his passport.
Hickey had been held in Rio’s maximum security Bangu 10 jail since his arrest on August 10 at a luxury beachfront hotel.
“I will now stay in Rio and my lawyers will proceed to have the charges laid against me set aside as there is no substantive proof of any wrongdoing on my part,” Hickey said.
The ticketing scheme, according to Rio police, allegedly involved the funneling of Olympic tickets intended for use by the Irish committee and not authorized for resale to THG Sports, an international hospitality company.
Hickey has stepped down from his Olympic positions during the investigation.
Police have said they have ample evidence of crimes committed by Hickey and other suspects in the case, but a full investigation and further court proceedings to determine their guilt or innocence could take months.