OCI To Meet in Dublin Tonight

The Executive Committee of the Olympic Council of Ireland will meet tonight for the first time since the publication of the Moran Report and subsequent hearings by the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.

There won’t be much new for them to learn as the findings and the appearance of Sarah Keane before that Committee have been played out in a very public fashion.

They will have a chance to review their new President’s performance which we believe to have been very strong in defence of her being the right person for the job and the OCI being in a much better place now to address the shortcomings of the previous administration highlighted in the report.

There will doubtless be an update on where the organisation is with regard to the 25 recommendations of the Deloitte Report into corporate governance, full compliance with which was indicated as a pre requisite of a resumption in Government funding through Sport Ireland.

There will also be a reflection and a likely unanimous decision to forward the report formally to the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee and so set in train the possible suspension from his international positions of former OCI President Pat Hickey.

Whether the IOC chooses to follow this path may depend on legal advice they will doubtless seek on the potential impact this might have on Mr Hickey’s trial on ticketing and conspiracy related charges in Brazil and the potential further effect on the IOC of that trial.

There is a precedent for that Commission suspending a member. Dae Sung Moon of Korea was accused of plagiarism in a published document and was suspended pending a court ruling on the case last year.

That was though a very personal issue without any ramifications for the IOC other than an individual reputation. Whether that could also be said or seen to be the case in this instance is questionable.

The Oireachtas Committee met yesterday to discuss Mr Hickey’s non-appearance before it, claiming that to do so would impact on his trial. They did not decide to seek to compel his appearance but they have requested that Minister Shane Ross sign off on a further module of the Moran Report to look exclusively at the ticket contracts signed by Mr Hickey with The Hospitality Group covering Games up to 2026.

That is not subject to any question of breaking any laws or being subject to trial in this or any other jurisdiction.

The cost and timing of the report as well as whether Mr Hickey would cooperate will have to be considered by the Department but it is another step towards closure.

Finally, the OCI will also have a chance to reflect on the success of athletes wearing the Irish kit at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary earlier in the summer. Won’t that be a pleasant relief from the otherwise somewhat more depressing aspects of their role…

Sport Ireland, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and 25 National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.  

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