Three charges in the ticket-scalping case that led to the arrest of Patrick Hickey in Rio have reportedly been dropped ©Getty Images

Three charges levelled against Irish sports official Patrick Hickey following his dramatic dawn arrest at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have been dropped, according to reports.

The Irish Times reported charges of tax evasion, one regarding ticket touting and another relating to the use of Rio 2016 logos, products or services for economic advantage without the correct permissions against Hickey and Kevin Mallon, a director at the hospitality firm THG Sports, have been dropped due to "extinction of punishability".

Hickey and Mallon, who have denied wrongdoing, are still facing charges of criminal association and larceny, as well as a separate one relating to ticket touting, the newspaper reported.

The development came in a decision by the Brazilian court in October, which had not previously been revealed.

It represents a boost to Hickey, the self-suspended International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and former President of the European Olympic Committees and Olympic Council of Ireland.

However, the remaining charges carry significant potential jail terms.

Patrick Hickey's arrest at Rio 2016 sent shockwaves through the Olympic world ©Getty Images
Patrick Hickey's arrest at Rio 2016 sent shockwaves through the Olympic world ©Getty Images

Larceny carries three to 10 years’ imprisonment plus a fine, while the charge of criminal association - defined as to "promote, constitute, finance or integrate, personally or through an intermediary, a criminal organisation" - carries a sentence of three to eight years.

The Irish Times reported a hearing in the long-running case, which led to Hickey "self-suspending" from his roles in the Olympic Movement, had been scheduled for November 23 before being postponed at the request of Mallon's defence team.

It could be more than eight months before it is heard again.

Many observers of the case believe there is little likelihood that it will be pursued.

A source close to the Irishman claimed last year that he was a "high-profile fall guy" for the rest of the Olympic Movement.

Both Hickey and Mallon - an executive at THG Sports, which had been the OCI’s authorised ticket reseller at London 2012 and Sochi 2014, and who had signed a contract with Hickey that went up to 2026 that had not been authorised by the Rio 2016 organisers - left Brazil in December 2016.

Hickey was aided by a loan from the Association of National Olympic Committees, of which he was a vice-president, of €410,000 (£343,000/$464,000).

He remains a self-suspended member of the IOC, with the organisation insisting the status is unchanged as the Brazilian court case is still pending.

insidethegames has contacted Hickey for comment.