Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) officials have questioned a decision from the European Olympic Committees (EOC) to invite self-suspended former President Patrick Hickey to this month's European Games in Minsk.
Hickey, who removed himself from all of his sporting roles following his arrest on ticket scalping charges at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, has been invited to attend Minsk 2019, due to take place from June 21 to 30, as a guest.
OCI President Sarah Keane and chief executive Peter Sherrard have both expressed surprise at the EOC asking the 73-year-old if he would like to come to the Belarusian capital for the event.
Keane and OFI general secretary Sarah O’Shea have held talks with EOC officials, including President Janez Kocijančič, to discuss the issue.
"We expressed our surprise and they were open and honest about it," she said, according to the Irish Examiner.
"He has assured me this is standard practice in terms of inviting former Presidents to events."
Sherrard told the Irish Times that the invitation to Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland for 29 years and who remains a self-suspended member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had not come through the OFI.
Hickey, who denies wrongdoing, is facing charges of theft, tax evasion, money-laundering and criminal association after hundreds of tickets to Olympic events at Rio 2016 were seized by police.
His trial was due to begin in Rio de Janeiro in November but was suspended by the Brazilian Supreme Court.
It is unclear when - or if - the trial will take place.
Hickey could still return as an IOC member but has been replaced at both the EOC and the reformed OFI.
The IOC Ethics Commission has still not made a decision on Hickey's status within the Olympic Movement and his self-suspended position remains in tact.
He has rarely appeared in public since he returned to Ireland from Brazil but he attended the 2017 and 2018 World Judo Championships, held in Budapest and Baku, respectively.
Hickey spearheaded the creation of the European Games during his 10-year tenure at the helm, the first edition of which were held in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in 2015.
insidethegames has contacted the EOC for comment.