Patrick Hickey today received support from the European Olympic Committees (EOC), who have vowed to help him clear his name and return home from Brazil, where he is currently facing several charges related to the illegal sale of tickets during Rio 2016.
The Irishman temporarily stood down from his role as President of the EOC following his arrest in Rio de Janeiro in August and has reportedly been charged with criminal organisation, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering and tax evasion.
The 71-year-old could face up to seven years in jail if he is found guilty.
But the EOC Executive Committee, meeting in Bratislava, reaffirmed their belief that Hickey is innocent.
"Today the EOC Executive Committee unanimously confirmed our shared belief that Patrick Hickey is innocent and the EOC is exploring ways in which we can help him to prove this and to completely clear his name and return to his family and Olympic duties," Janez Kocijančič, the Slovenian who has replaced Hickey as President of the EOC, said.
Nine others, including Irishman Kevin Mallon from THG Sports, the British company at the centre of claims that tickets were sold on the black market, also face charges including criminal organisation, ticket touting, ambush marketing, larceny, money laundering and tax evasion.
Hickey, President of the EOC since 2006, has always maintained his innocence.
He is currently being held in Brazil and has had to surrender his passport to the authorities.