ZURICH (Reuters) - The umbrella body representing national Olympic committees paid Patrick Hickey's bail to allow him to return home after he was arrested in a probe into an illegal ticket-scalping ring during the Rio de Janeiro Games.
The former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland and the European Olympic Committee, who was released from prison in August, has maintained he is innocent of all charges.
Irishman Hickey, 71, was allowed to leave Brazil in November on condition he paid 1.5 million reais ($432,201) in bail.
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"ANOC can confirm that on humanitarian grounds they have agreed to temporarily loan the bail payment for Patrick Hickey to return home for medical reasons," the Lausanne-based Association of National Olympic Committees said in a statement on Thursday.
"The payment was made as a temporary loan so Patrick Hickey could meet his bail requirements and return to Ireland where he can receive medical treatment for a heart condition. The terms ... make it clear it must be repaid to ANOC in full."
The Rio Games were staged in August.
($1 = 3.4706 reais)
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Tony Jimenez)