(Reuters) – Ireland’s former Olympic chief Pat Hickey has resigned from the International Olympic Committee’s executive board after becoming embroiled in a ticket-selling scandal at last year’s Rio Games.
Hickey, 72, was arrested by Brazilian police during the Games and held in jail. He was eventually released on bail after the Association of National Olympic Committees loaned him the money to allow him to return to Ireland.
He has maintained he is innocent of all charges.
“Patrick Hickey has informed the IOC of his resignation as a member of the IOC Executive Board with immediate effect,” an IOC spokesperson said in a statement ahead of its session in Lima this week.
“In his resignation letter, Mr Hickey emphasized that he wants to protect the IOC and to ensure that the interests of the National Olympic Committees are represented on the Executive Board.
“He also reiterated his innocence in respect of all charges and confirmed that he hopes to exercise his functions as an IOC member in the future.”
His seat on the board will now be filled by an election during the session in the Peruvian capital.
Hickey, the former top European official at the IOC, was charged by Brazilian investigators over an alleged scheme to sell Rio Games tickets illegally.
Hickey’s trial has been set for late November, Irish media reported last week.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Ian Ransom)