Patrick Hickey was among those in attendance at the IJF World Championships ©Getty Images

Patrick Hickey was among those in attendance at the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Championships today in what represented a rare appearance from the Irishman at a major sporting event.

Hickey, who remains self-suspended as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the Rio 2016 ticket controversy, watched the session of finals from the VIP box here along with other officials including IJF head Marius Vizer.

The 73-year-old former Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) President was not introduced to the crowd and did not present a medal.

Hickey, a member of the IJF Hall of Fame, arrived in the Hungarian capital yesterday.

His appearance here comes after the OCI confirmed Hickey, who was arrested at the Olympic Games on August 17 but is not expected to have to return to Brazil to face trial on charges of ticket touting, money laundering and tax evasion, would not be welcomed back into the organisation.

The OCI said he would not be able to rejoin the Board even if he is reinstated as a member of the IOC.

If he was to return, under the rules of the Olympic Charter, he would be able to resume a position as an ex-officio member of the OCI, although he would not have any voting rights.

He was President of the OCI from 1989 until he stood down last year and was replaced by Sarah Keane. 

His arrival comes prior to the visit of IOC President Thomas Bach, who is due to travel here tomorrow.

Patrick Hickey watched the fifth day of finals from the VIP box ©Getty Images
Patrick Hickey watched the fifth day of finals from the VIP box ©Getty Images

Bach will then attend the mixed team event, which was recently added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme and is due to make its World Championships debut, on Sunday (September 3).

It seems likely that Hickey will at least attempt to meet with Bach to discuss his position and his standing within the IOC.

Hickey was recently cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a report by Justice Cearbhall Moran in Ireland earlier this month.

The 226-page document alleged, however, that there was a "failure by so many principal participants" to cooperate with the inquiry, including Hickey, the IOC and Rio 2016.

Hickey claimed that he was told not to help with the investigation pending the outcome of Brazilian proceedings against him and that the Moran Report contained "significant inaccuracies".

The Irishman has a long history with judo and is a second dan black belt.

The sport gave him a pathway into the world of sports politics and governance after he finished his career, where he competed into his forties.

He represented Ireland at international level before he was elected as President of the Irish Judo Association in 1979.

During his 10-year tenure at the helm of the IJA, he also became a member of the OCI Executive Committee.