Rio organisers 'never intended' to aid Irish tickets inquiry

Email from Mr Justice Carroll Moran to legal representative ended up in spam folder

The Rio police and the state prosecutor say they were never contacted by anyone from the Moran Inquiry.

The Rio police and the state prosecutor say they were never contacted by anyone from the Moran Inquiry.

 

Organisers of the Rio Olympics have said they never intended to cooperate with an Irish judicial inquiry into the handling of Irish tickets for the games last year as they feared doing so would interfere with an ongoing Brazilian trial.

“We couldn’t send information about this case to Ireland because of the risk that we would attribute blame to some under investigation and not to others,” said organising committee spokesman Mario Andrada.

The confirmation that no cooperation would have been forthcoming from Rio follows the publication of Mr Justice Carroll Moran’s report into the matters on on Monday.

In it he wrote that the Rio Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Rocog) responded to his first email indicating cooperation would be forthcoming but then failed to reply to subsequent communications.

Mr Andrade confirmed that a follow up email from Mr Justice Moran to the committee’s legal representative ended up in his spam folder and was only discovered recently but that this played no part in the committee’s decision not to cooperate.

He said it was sensitivities around the ongoing trial of former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey and a number of Irish and British sports hospitality executives on ticket touting charges that precluded cooperation.

“Brazilian authorities are very sensitive to whatever type of interference. We were afraid that if we sent any information to Ireland this could be seen by them as interference,” added Mr Andrada.

Quest for information

He said the committee assumed that Mr Justice Moran would have instead approached Brazilian authorities that are handling the case in his quest for information.

Both the Rio police and the state prosecutor handling the case had both publicly stated their willingness to cooperate with the Moran Inquiry but both say they were never contacted by anyone from it.

In his report Mr Justice Moran said Rocog ticketing manager Aurélie Berak responded last November to his first email to the committee, saying it “will gladly cooperate in this inquiry”. He was then directed to Rocog legal representative Luiz Ryff.

The inquiry sent five further emails, three to Mr Ryff and two to Ms Berak, but received no reply.

The International Olympic Committee in Switzerland also refused to cooperate with the inquiry. Its director general, Christophe de Kepper wrote “we have been advised that, in view of the pending criminal case in Brazil, we should not disclose information concerning the matter, other than to the appropriate authorities in Brazil”.

In his report Mr Justice Moran said his inquiry “took the view that this was a misplaced argument in that the information requested was for neutral facts of a general nature, probably in the public domain and which, of themselves, could not prejudice any criminal prosecution”.