Pat Hickey set to return home as Olympic body puts up bail money
Association of National Olympic Committees: temporary loan made on ‘humanitarian’ grounds
Pat Hickey: the statement said the payment was made as a “temporary loan” so he could return to Ireland to receive medical treatment for a heart condition Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
Pat Hickey, the former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), is expected to return home shortly after an international Olympic body put up the €410,000 bail required for him to leave Brazil.
The bail bond has been paid by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).
Mr Hickey was arrested in his hotel room in Rio de Janeiro on charges of ticket-touting when he was attending the Olympic Games in the city in August. He was released after being held in prison for several days, but the authorities retained his passport.
Last month a court in Rio ruled his passport should be returned to him and that he could return to Ireland “to treat a health problem” on condition he pay a bond to the court of 1.5 million Brazilian Reals (€410,000).
The OCI ruled out any intervention in relation to the bond, describing it as a “personal matter”.
As well as being OCI president, Mr Hickey had also served as a vice-president of ANOC, the official affiliation of the 206 national Olympic committees which is fully recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In a statement, ANOC said “it 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 decision was unanimously approved by ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and all ANOC vice-presidents via a postal vote on 20 November 2016.”
The statement said the payment was made as a “temporary loan” so Mr Hickey could meet his bail requirements and return to Ireland to receive medical treatment for a heart condition.
“The terms of the temporary loan make it clear that it must be repaid to ANOC in full. For legal reasons, all other terms and conditions surrounding his bail payment will remain confidential.”
Sheikh Al-Sabah, from Kuwait, considered a good friend of Mr Hickey, was among those to speak out in his favour at last month’s ANOC general assembly in Doha, referring to Mr Hickey as our “dear VP”.
IOC president Thomas Bach, a lawyer, also touched on the subject in his keynote address, saying “we have to say, clearly, that as long as there is no result, our colleague enjoys the presumption of innocence”.