Rio Olympics Farce: IOC chief Thomas Bach in ticket scam spotlight
Bach is caught up in an affair which centres on the arrest of Ireland`s Olympic chief, Patrick Hickey, who is suspected of illegally trading Olympic tickets.
Lausanne: Recently under pressure in the Russian doping scandal, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach now faces further problems with Brazilian police wanting to call him as a witness in a suspected Olympic ticket scam.
Rio de Janeiro police official Ronaldo Oliveira said investigators had seen an email that the top suspect in the probe, Ireland`s Olympic chief Patrick Hickey, sent to Bach requesting tickets.
"We want to question Thomas Bach as a witness because he features in emails and we want to clear up certain uncertainties," Rio Police official Ronaldo Oliveira said on Thursday.
The German Bach failed to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in Rio this week and the IOC said he has no immediate plans to go back there.
The police move comes just after Bach was criticised for the handling of the allegations of state sponsored doping in Russia and for the handling of organising the Games in Rio.
Now Bach is caught up in an affair which centres on the August 17 arrest of Ireland`s Olympic chief, Patrick Hickey, who is suspected of illegally trading Olympic tickets.
Bach has given no indication of publicly addressing the matter. After attending the funeral of former West German president Walter Scheel on Wednesday, he is due in Croatia this weekend for a 25-year celebration of the founding of their Olympic Committee.
An IOC member since 1995 Hickey, 71, was arrested on August 17 before being released on health grounds under condition of remaining in Brazil.
Frenchman Jerome Valcke lost his post as FIFA general secretary after presumed implication in a ticket touting ring during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Rio police seized some 781 tickets which they say were destined to be sold on the black market and also claim that around $3 million were generated by the ticket scam.
"If Mr Bach comes to Brazil we will call him as a witness, but this does not make him a suspect in the case," Rio Police commissioner Aloysio Falcao said on Friday.
Bach`s absence from the Paralympic opening ceremony is unprecedented for an IOC president since 1984, and had already led to speculation in the Brazilian media.
In July 2015 Hickey sent an email to Bach asking to be allocated more tickets for the Rio Games, saying he had had more for the London Games in 2012, fraud squad commissioner in Rio Ricardo Barbosa de Souza revealed Thursday.
"Mr Bach did not reply but we do know that Mr Hickey got 296 extra tickets for Rio and that is why we want to question the IOC president," he explained.
The email was discovered after Rio police confiscated the computer of a third person, Martin Burk, also of the Irish Olympic Committee, at their delegation`s hotel.