BREAKING: Reports from Brazil claim that Pat Hickey has been arrested in Rio
Major breaking news from Rio.
Reports from Brazil claim that Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey has been arrested in Rio de Janeiro.
Hickey's arrest came at his hotel in Barra da Tijuca with the Associated Press reporting that Hickey along with six others are accused of plotting the illegal sale of Olympic tickets.
Reports of the 71-year-old's arrest came in Brazilian newspaper Estadao and it has since been confirmed by several journalists based in Rio for the Games.
The BBC are reporting that police sources say that Hickey tried to escape when the police arrived at the hotel. Police say Mr Hickey, who also heads the Olympic Council of Ireland, tried to escape when they came to arrest him, sliding his Olympic pass under the door when police knocked before attempting to flee into the adjacent hotel room.
Pictures have emerged of Hickey wearing a white dressing gown while being questioned by police.
— Neil Cotter (@NewsNeil13) August 17, 2016
Journalist Jamil Chade claims that moments after his arrest Hickey complained of feeling ill and has now been taken to a local hospital.
IOC member Hickey being taken to hospital after feeling sick at the moment he got arrested
— Jamil Chade (@JamilChade) August 17, 2016
The OCI has released a brief statement in the wake of the reports:
"The OCI is aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further. Any updates will be made via the OCI website."
There has been no official statement yet from the Brazilian authorities so it is entirely possible that Hickey's arrest is a procedural stage as police continue their investigations into how Kevin Mallon, a finance director of sports hospitality company THG, was detained on August 5th with several hundred tickets for Olympic events, many of which came from the OCI's allocation for the Games.
Mallon's lawyer, Franklin Gomes, this week told the Irish Times that his client has "done nothing wrong".
“Kevin has been accused of crimes he did not commit,” Gomes said.
“He was not selling tickets above face value. There is no proof, as the police claim, that he was distributing tickets for the purpose of ticket touting. There is no proof of credit card or cash transaction at the hotel at the time of his arrest.”