Stephen Martin has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

However, he will remain on as chef de mission for the Irish team at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea before leaving to ‘pursue other career interests’. The news was announced in a statement released by the OCI.

Martin, who was born in Bangor, County Down and won Olympic bronze in hockey with Great Britain in 1984 and gold four years later, first took the job in 2006 having previously been deputy CEO of the British Olympic Association.

OCI President Sarah Keane said: "On behalf of the OCI Board I wish to acknowledge Stephen’s hard work and service to the Irish Olympic movement.

"Stephen’s experience and relationships with national and international sporting bodies were of value to the OCI over the past decade. As Stephen leaves to pursue other interests we wish him the very best for the future." 

Martin’s departure means that there has been complete change at the head of the OCI following on from last year’s disastrous Rio Games.

Rio was dogged by scandal for Team Ireland, culminating with former OCI president Pat Hickey eventually stepping down following his arrest in Brazil on corruption charges. He is currently released on bail and in Ireland, with his trial due to start shortly.

The OCI haven’t yet announced a time-line for the replacement of Martin in what is one of the most high-profile jobs in Irish sport.

As well as appearing 94 times for Team GB, Martin also earned 135 caps with Ireland and captained both teams.

"I would particularly like to pay tribute to the athletes for their tremendous contribution to Irish sport," he said on his departure.

"As a former Olympian I recognise the commitment, dedication and sacrifices required. It has been my privilege and honour to work with them and I wish them every success in their sporting careers."