Friday, August 26, 2016

Ticketing Scandal: Grant Thornton to conduct OCI review

Note: So who will be paying for such a company?

"The OCI today appointed Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review of its handling of ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympic Games.

It is intended that the review will be concluded by Monday, 10 October 2016 and it will be given to Judge Carroll Moran to consider as part of his State inquiry deliberations.

The terms of reference of the Grant Thornton review, which will be carried out by the Grant Thornton Forensic Services team, are as follows:

1.                   To review:

(a)                The policies, procedures, processes and practices adopted by The Olympic Council of Ireland (including its subsidiaries and/or agents, hereafter referred to as OCI) governing the receipt, distribution and sale of tickets (and associated revenues) allocated by the IOC/organising committee to OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and.

(b)               The policies, procedures, processes and practices, adopted by OCI, governing all accreditations allocated by OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

(c)                The implementation of those policies and procedures, and the actual processes (including any procurement process and any contract awarded by OCI, including but not limited to any contract awarded to Pro10 and THG) and practices (including any resale of any tickets as part of hospitality packages), in the case of the accreditations and tickets allocated to OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and associated revenues received by OCI:

(d)               Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, to review:

(i)                 the appointment of Pro10 Sports Management as OCI's authorised ticket reseller for Rio 2016;

(ii)               the manner in which Pro10 dealt with OCI ticket allocation;

(iii)             interactions between Pro10 and THG in relation to OCI’s ticket allocation;

(iv)             OCI’s interactions with THG;

(v)               the manner in which OCI dealt with any ticket allocation directly to it;

(vi)             the manner in which OCI dealt with the local organising committee with reference to ticketing and accreditation; and

(vii)           OCI corporate governance issues arising with reference to the matters above.

2.                   Having reviewed the above matters, to prepare a report setting out the findings and recommendations of the review, which will be given to Judge Carroll Moran.

As part of the Grant Thornton review, submissions will be invited from athletes and their families on their experience of ticketing allocation and availability arrangements for Rio 2016.

The OCI is committed to a review of its wider corporate governance arrangements and will set out its intentions in this area in due course. 

Note for editor

1.      In the interests of quickly and independently establishing key facts with regard to OCI ticketing arrangements at the Rio Olympics this review will focus on the Rio Games only. However, a broader review of ticketing arrangements at previous Games may be conducted by the OCI at a later stage, as considered necessary.

2.      Grant Thornton:
“Grant Thornton is Ireland’s fastest growing professional services firm with over 1,000 staff in Ireland.  Clients choose us because the breadth of financial and business services they need is available, delivered innovatively and always to the highest standards. Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to understand complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients and help them to find solutions. More than 42,000 Grant Thornton people, across 130 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work. Grant Thornton Forensic Services forms part of the Grant Thornton Advisory team.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ticketing Scandal: Judge appointed

Another statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland's PR company

"The OCI welcomes the appointment of Judge Carroll Moran to lead the State inquiry into the distribution of tickets at the Rio Olympics and other related matters.  The OCI also notes the inquiry’s terms of reference.

"An international accountancy firm will be appointed before the weekend by the OCI to conduct a review of the ticketing arrangements for the Rio Games.

"Earlier this week a data security firm (Espion) was appointed by the OCI to secure, copy and seal the OCI server and all OCI electronic data.  All of the retrieved data will be reviewed by the soon to be appointed accountancy firm as part of its review. The findings of this review will be given to Judge Moran to be examined as part of his inquiry. 

"In media interviews today Mr Brendan Howlin T.D. stated that he was unsure if Article 32 of the OCI Articles of Association prevented the OCI from cooperating with the State inquiry. The OCI’s legal advice is that there is no impediment whatsoever to the OCI cooperating fully with the inquiry and it intends to do so."

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rio '16 - How the Irish Did

Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  Ht 3, 2 Sanita Puspure 9:11.45.
Cycling: Men’s road race - Dan Martin 13th;  Nicholas Roche 29th.
Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 12 Padraig McCarthy ("Simon Porloe') 46.80; 13  Clare Abbott ("Europrince") 47.00, ; Irish team lying 12th
Hockey: Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, C Harte) India 3 (RP Singh 2, VR Raghunath)
Swimming: Men's breaststroke Ht 2, 4 Nicholas Quinn dnq.
Gymnastics: Men all round - 38th Kieran Behan 83.232. Parallel bars - 53rd, 14.000; floor - 33rd, 14.333; rings - 42nd, 14.133; pommel horse- 64th, 12.866.

Gymnastics: Women all round- 57 Ellis O’Reilly  47.232. Floor 79th, 11.666; beam 79th, 10.700; uneven bars 71st, 12.300.

Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 6 Jonty Evans ("Cooley Rorkey's Drift")41.80;Mark Kyle ("Jemilla") 50.40 (discard; 3 scores to count); Ireland 5th.
Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women's Ht 3,  2 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:10.91; men's Ht1,   Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:23.72

Boxing: 69kg - rd of 32: Steven Donnelly(8) bt Zohir Kedache (Algeria).60kg - rd  of 32:  David Oliver Joyce bt Andrique Allisop (Seychelles). 
Swimming: Women's 100m breaststroke Ht 6, 8 Fiona Doyle 1:07.58 (20th overall); men's100m backstroke Ht3,  4 Shane Ryan 53.85 (IR; q)
Hockey: Gp B- Netherlands 5, Ireland 0.

Swimming: Men's 100m backstroke SF1, 8  Shane Ryan 54.40; 16th overall
Equestrian: Eventing (cross-country) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy; team 6th.
Boxing: 49kg round of 16 - Paddy Barnes (4) lost to Samuel Carmona  Heredia (Spain) 29-28, 28-29, 28-29.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy 1st race, 1st; 2nd race 13th ; Laser (men) race 1;  and 2 - Finn Lynch

Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  QF4, 4 Sanita Puspure 7:28.68.
Equestrian: Eventing (show jumping) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy. Team 8th overall. Individual eventing - 89 Evans 64.40, 33 Kyle 109.20, 37 Abbott 112.50; elim McCarthy.
Hockey: Gp B- Germany 3  Ireland 2.
Swimming: Men’s 200m Breaststroke Ht 1, 1 Nicholas Quinn 2:11.67; 19th overall
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) Annalise Murphy 4th race 3; 7th race 4; lying 2nd. Laser (Men) Finn Lynch 15th race 3, 40th race 4; lying 24th.
Boxing: 60kg round of 16 - David Oliver Joyce lost to  Albert Selimova(2)(Azebaijan; formerly Russia))

Rowing: Postponed due to wind - Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s SF Paul/Gary O’Donovan.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) -Annalise Murphy  race 5, 5th; race 6, 2nd; lying 1st. Laser (men) -Finn Lynch race 5, 18th; race 6 27th.
Swimming: Women's 200m breast stroke , Ht 2, 2,  Fiona Doyle 2:29.76; 25th overall.
Boxing: 81kg round of 16 - Joe Ward (4) lost to Carlos Andrea Mina (Ecuador)

 Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF  A/B2, 3, Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:18.24;  men’s SF A/B1, 3  Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:35.70.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P - Chloe Magee lost to Yihan Wang (China)(2) 7-21, 12-21.
Equestrian: Dressage  Q- 21  Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 24.7
Golf: Men’s rd 1, Padraig Harrington 70 (-1); Seamus Power 71 (par).
Rowing: Women’s single sculls C/D final - 1  Sanita Puspure 7:53:48; 13th overall.  
Hockey: Gp B-Ireland 4, Canada 2 
Boxing: 69kg rd of 16 Steven Donnelly(8) bt Byambyn Tuvshinbat (Mon), split dec.
Swimming: Men's 50m freestyle, ht3, 3 Shane Ryan 22.88 secs.

Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s final: 6 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s final: 2 Paul/Gary O’Donovan SILVER
Equestrian: Dressage - Grand Prix Special last 32: Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 74.090 (top 18; q Freestyle final)
Golf: Men's Rd 2 - =4th, Seamus Power 67 (10th overall); =31 Padraig Harrington 71 (=22nd overall).
Athletics: Men's 800m - Ht 6, 3rd Mark English 1:46.40 (Q). Men's 20k walk - 46th, Alex Wright 1:25.25.
Mark English
 Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Marc Zwiebler (Swi) 9-12, 21-17, 21-7
Sailing : Men's 49er (skiff)-  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 1, 14th; Race 2 2nd (5th overall). Women's 49er FX (skiff) - Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 1 8th; Race 2 3rd; Race3 6th (5th overall). 
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 7, 18th; race 8, 12th (3rd overall; 44 pts).Laser (men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 7, 33rd; Race 8 30th (29th overall).
Hockey: Gp B- Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, S O’Donoghue) Argentina 3 (G Peillat 2, J Saladino)

Athletics: Women’s 1500m  - H1, 2 Ciara Mageean 4:11.51.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P, Chloe Magee lost to Karin Schnaase (Ger) 14-21, 19-21.
11:30 Golf: Men's Rd 3 - Padraig Harrington, Seamus Power
Kerry O'Flaherty
Athletics: Women's 3,000m steeplechase - Ht 1 (17 starters), 14th, Kerry O’Flaherty 9:45.35 (SB); Ht 2 (18 starters), 11th Michele Finn 9:49.45; Ht 3 (17 starters), 12th, Sara Treacy 9:46.24 (after a fall; Q for final).
Cycling: Women’s kierin - Shannon McCurley: Rd 1, Ht 4, 5th; Repechage 4, 4th. 
Boxing: 52kg rd of 32  - Brendan Irvine lost to Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) 0-3. 69kg QF Steven Donnelly(8) lost to Mohammed Rabii (Mor); split decision.
Sailing: Men’s 49er race - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 4, 1st; Race 5 14th; Race 6 19th; 4th overall, 35 pts. Women’s 49er FX -  Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 4 18th; Race 513th; Race 6
Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 9, 6th; Race 10 7th ; 3rd overall 57 pts. Laser (Men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 9, 40th; Race 10 bdf; 32nd overall.
Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Ygor Oliviera (Bra) 21-18, 19-21, 21-8; Q last 16.

Athletics: 800m SF3, 5 Mark English 1:45.93.
Golf: Men's final rd (after 72 holes) - =14 Seamus Power -5; -=21 Padraig Harrington -3
Scott Evans
Athletics: Women’s marathon - 20 Fionnuala McCormack 2:31.22 (PB); 57 Lizzie Lee 2:39.57,  76 Breege Connolly 2:44.41.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 1, 36 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 8 faults.
Boxing: 56kg round of 16 - Michael Conlan(1) bt Aram Avagyan (Armenia) 3-0.

Athletics: Women’s 1500m SF1, 11 Ciara Mageean 4:08.07.
Equestrian: Dressage - Freestyle final Judy Reynolds ('Vancouver K') 18th, 75.696%
Boxing: Women’s 60kg QF - Katie Taylor (1) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland)
Athletics: Women's steeplechase final - 17 Sara Treacy 9:52.70.  Men's 400m hurdles Ht 4, 2 Thomas
Barr 48.93 secs (SB).
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - Annalise Murphy. POSTPONED until tomorrow.
Men’s 49er  - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 7, 13th; Race 8, 7th; Race 9, 13th; 7th overall. Women’s 49er FX- Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 7, 19th; Race 8, 6th, Race 9,19th; 12th overall.
Badminton: Men's singles last 16: Scott Evans lost to Viktor Axelsen (Den; WR 4)16-21,12.21,
 Diving: Men’s 3m spring-board preliminary - Oliver Dingley 399.80 from  6 dives - Scores: 66, 74, 61.2, 72, 48, 78.2; 13th overall. Top 18 to SF.

Athletics: Women's pole vault qualifiers -  Gr B, 15 Tori Pena 4.30m.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 2,  50 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 13 faults; top 45 to Rd 3.
Diving SF: Men’s 3m springboard Oliver Dingley 414.25 from six dives - scores: 69.75, 7210, 64.50, 64.50, 67.50, 71.10. Final - 8th (74.40, 81.60, 76.50, 69.00, 61.50, 79.90)
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - 5 Annalise Murphy; 2nd overall -SILVER. 
Men’s 49er -  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 10, 19th; Race 11, 20th; Race 12, 1st; 8th overall (top 10 to medal race). Women’s 49er FX -Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 10, 18th; Race 11, 13th; Race 12, 12th; 12th overall.
Boxing: 56kg QF - Michael Conlan(1) lost to  Vladimir Nikitin (Rus)0-3

Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles SF - 1 Thomas Barr 48.39 secs (Irish record). Women's 800m Rd 1, 8 Ciara Everard 2:07.91.
Golf: Women’s Rd 1 - Leona Maguire 74 (3 over par), Stephanie Meadow 77 (6 over par)

Golf: Women’s Rd 2 - =3 (=22nd overall; -3)Leona Maguire , 65 (6 under par); =5 (=38th overall) Stephanie Meadow, 66 (+1).
Modern Pentathlon: Women's event - Prelim Fencing: 12 Natalya Coyle 214. 18:30  Men's event - Fencing: 25 Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe196.
Triathlon: Men’s race - 40 Bryan Keane 1:52.09
Sailing: 49er medal race - 9 Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern18.
Athletics: 400m hurdles final - 4 Thomas Barr 47.97 secs (Irish record)

Golf: Women’s Rd 3 - =13 Stephanie Meadow 70 (-1);+1 overall; =31 Leona Maguire 74 (+3); 0 overall.
Mick Clohisey
Athletics: 50k walk: 6 Rob Heffernan 3:43.55, 19 Brendan Boyce 3:53.59; Alex Wright dnf (30km)
Modern pentathlon - women: 7 Natalya Coyle 1325 pts. Swim Ht 4,  4th, 2:17.38; 23rd overall; showjumping??; combined run/shoot??.

Golf: Women’s final round - 21 Leona Maguire 69, =31 Stephanie Meadow 72. Overall: Maguire 282 (74,65,74,69); Meadow 286 (66,70,72
Triathlon: Women’s race - 21  Aileen Reid
Modern pentathlon - Men: 8 Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe 1457.

Athletics: Men’s marathon - 31 Paul Pollock 2:16.24; 64 Kevin Seaward 2:20.06, 103 Mick Clohisey 2:26:34
Closing ceremony

OCI set up "crisis management sub-committee"

22/8/16 - Another statement from the PR company employed by the Olympic Council of Ireland:

"This evening the Executive Committee of the Olympic Council of Ireland met for the first time in person since the Games began in Rio.  The Committee discussed recent events in Rio regarding ticketing arrangements at the Games which it takes very seriously.
"The Executive Committee made the following decisions:
·         They appointed a three person crisis management subcommittee to lead the Council’s response to the recent events in Rio. This group comprises Sarah Keane (Swim Ireland), Prof Ciaran O Cathain (Athletics Ireland) and Robert Norwood (Snowsports Association of Ireland).
·         The subcommittee will appoint an international accountancy firm to conduct an independent review of ticketing arrangements in Rio. The firm will be selected this week and its work will begin immediately and its terms of reference will be published.
·         The report prepared by the firm will be presented to the judge who will chair the State inquiry into the OCI’s handling of ticketing at the Rio Olympics."

Here are the questions I want answered:
* Are athletes who qualify for an Olympics entitled to an allocation of tickets for their family and friends?
* Why are there questions marks over the OCI's allocation of tickets dating back - at least - to 1996?
* What happens to tickets left over after families have received their allocation?
* Is it really necessary to set up a company to allocate no more than 1,000 tickets to family members and OCI  insiders? Surely someone in the Howth HQ of the OCI could have managed that?

Here's what we know:
* To get tickets, families contacted a company called PR10, set up in May 2015.
*They had little or no luck getting tickets and ended up buying what they needed online from the Rio  organisers.
*Tickets allocated to the OCI for families/friends ended up in the hands of THG, a company banned from selling  Rio tickets, who were organising "hospitality" packages for the Games. These "packages" included tickets which they had to acquire from somewhere.
* Before the 2014 football World Cup, Brazil police arrested the chief executive of THG, James Sinton, claiming he was part of a “ticketing mafia”. When given bail, he - allegedly - absconded, which is probably the main reason Pat Hickey is being treated so harshly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Olympic Council Agrees to Inquiry

Another statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland's PR company:

18.25 (Dublin Time)

"The Board of the Olympic Council of Ireland regrets that recent events in Brazil have overshadowed the many great performances of Team Ireland at the Rio Olympic Games. With 11 top 10 finishes at this stage, this has been one of the most successful performances at an Olympic Games by an Irish team.
The Board is taking the recent events in Rio very seriously and wishes to state the following:

•             A top priority of the Board is supporting the current Irish athletes and teams in Brazil.

•             The Board has no further comment on the charges against Mr Hickey who is receiving his own legal advice and is entitled to natural justice and due process.

 •             Independent legal advisors Arthur Cox have been appointed to advise the board of the OCI.

 •         As referenced in a statement earlier the Board will co-operate fully with a State inquiry and it will now appoint an external independent firm to carry out a review.

The Board has not had an opportunity to meet in person to discuss events in Rio due to the ongoing Games, however, it will meet this weekend and a further statement will be issued in due course."

Here is the list of board members:
1st VP Willie O’Brien (archery)
2nd VP John Delaney (FAI)
Hon Gen Sec Dermot Heneghan (rowing)
Hon Treasurer Kevin Kilty (shooting)
Executive member Ciaran O Cathain (athletics)
Executive member Sarah Keane (swimming)
Committee members:
Billy Kennedy (cycling)
Tommy Murphy (boxing)
Robert Norwood (snowsports)
Sonia O’Sullivan (athletics)
Tom Rafter (archery)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hickey Out of Hospital

Latest statement from Olympic Council of Ireland:
"The Olympic Council of Ireland can confirm that Pat Hickey has been discharged from hospital and has been accompanied to a police station to complete a deposition."

Note: The case seems to be that the Pro10 company, the current authorised Irish ticket re-seller, based in Lucan, was a front for THC, the authorised Irish ticket re-seller for London 2012 and Sochi 2014, which was not authorised to sell tickets for Rio, and instead began selling "hospitality packages" which included Olympic tickets.  Of the 1,000 tickets seized in Rio, 781 came from the OCI's allocation for members and the families of selected athletes. Quite how this happened - especially when family members resorted to buying their own tickets directly when they failed to make any progress with Pro10 - is the nub of the matter.
Hickey is accused of ticket touting, forming a cartel/conspiracy to defraud, and ambush marketing.
*A quick check of the Companies Office register reveals that Pro10 was registered on 20 May 2015, just 15 months before the Rio Games. The application was received on 12 May 2015.

Barr Goes under 48 seconds and just misses out on medal

Thomas Barr of Ferrybank smashed his own Irish record when he finished fourth in the 400m hurdles final in 47.97 secs.
Barr was back in about fifth place coming into the finish, but "kicked like an absolute animal "to claw his way to fourth place, with only quarter of a second separating the top four. At the age of 24, Barr will be the one to watch at next year's World Championships.
"If it had been a 405m race, maybe I could have sneaked it!", he said after.

FINISHING  40th in the triathlon was Bryan Keane in a time of  1hrs 52 mins 09 secs. Keane was 38th out of the water and in the first chase pack, but fell back on the cycle, heading off on the run in 45th place. He had pulled himself up to 43rd place after the first of four laps and continued to improve. Up front, Britain's Alastair Brownlee successfully defended the title he won in London four years ago. His younger brother Jonathan was second - up from bronze four years ago.