The Olympic chief arrested over ticket scalping allegations has been transferred to a prison.

Irish International Olympic Committee executive Patrick Hickey was denied bail after his legal team argued unsuccessfully that he was being detained illegally following his early-morning arrest at his hotel.

Police began questioning the 71-year-old the following day after he was hospitalised with chest pains.

Hickey has now been transferred to the sprawling Bangu prison complex in Rio, a police statement said.

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He has temporarily stepped aside from his IOC duties, including his post on the ruling executive board and heading the influential umbrella group for Europe's Olympic bodies.

Hickey is facing charges of conspiracy, ticket scalping and ambush marketing after Brazilian authorities alleged he was part of a plot to make $3 million by illegally selling Games tickets above face value.

Police said Ireland's Olympic body helped transfer tickets to an unauthorised vendor who would set high fees and disguise the transaction as a hospitality package.

The Olympic Council of Ireland said it will "cooperate fully" with any state inquiry at home into the scandal.

"The OCI will now also commission its own independent inquiry into the ticketing arrangements for Rio 2016," the Dublin-based organisation said.

"The previously announced internal inquiry by the OCI has been discontinued."

Kevin James Mallon, from British hospitality provider THG, was arrested in Rio last week. Authorities have issued warrants for four more executives at the company.

-AP