Irish business executives could learn more in one week about the pitfalls of weak corporate governance from the Rio Olympics ticketing debacle than from a decade of MBA courses. No sooner had the police investigation into allegations of ticket touting begun when we began to see why strong corporate governance systems are important in every organisation that has a budget of any kind. The police investigation into alleged ticket touting at the Rio Games has caused enormous reputational damage to Olympic sport in Ireland. As the government prepares to put its non-statutory inquiry in place, the Brazilian police retain Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey in custody and also seized the passports of three senior OCI executives. Irrespective of the outcome of the criminal investigation taking place, the whole affair has placed a huge spotlight on the operations of the OCI and it has raised a raft of fresh questions about the corporate governance of this partially state-funded sporting body.
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