London 2012: IOC begins Olympics tickets investigation

 
London 2012 tickets Claims have been made that tickets were being sold way above their face value

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The International Olympic Committee has begun an investigation into claims Olympics representatives were willing to sell thousands of tickets for the London Games on the black market.

The IOC's ruling executive board met after fresh claims by the Sunday Times involving more than 50 countries.

Tickets for top events were said to be priced at up to 10 times face value.

A UK member of the board, Sir Craig Reedie, said the IOC would consider improvements to ticket sales systems.

"We will see what improvements we can build in to a more modern system, because it's very important that we protect the integrity of the ticket distribution system for Olympic games," he told the BBC.

The IOC has also referred the allegations to its independent ethics commission.

Former LibDem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, a member of the Olympic Board, called for offending countries to lose future allocations of tickets.

He said it was the responsibility of the IOC to regulate ticket allocations to member countries and was "not at the discretion of the London organisers".

The UK's Olympics organiser, Locog, denied claims its chairman, Lord Coe, was persuaded to hand over extra tickets to an IOC national representative.

The Sunday Times has submitted a dossier of evidence detailing claims that Olympic officials and agents had been caught selling thousands of tickets on the black market for up to 10 times their face value, says BBC Sports News correspondent James Pearce.

The IOC could also review how Olympic tickets are distributed among member countries - more than one million were distributed to those taking part in the Games.

Sir Menzies Campbell, a former Liberal Democrat leader who is on the Olympic Board, - which helps oversee London 2012 - told the BBC it was a "thorough disgrace".

"The sanctions [for offending countries] should be not just that the tickets get cancelled for this Olympic Games but that tickets are not awarded on future occasions," he added.

The Sunday Times alleges, during a two-month investigation in which reporters posed as Middle Eastern ticket touts, it found corruption involving people representing 54 separate countries.

Ticketing policy

Accusations include an allegation a member of the Greek Olympics Committee said he had "persuaded" Lord Coe, chairman of the London organising committee, Locog, to give Greece more tickets on the pretext demand had outstripped supply.

Locog denies the claim.

A spokeswoman said: "With regard to 'boasts' by the Greek Olympic Committee' (HOC) that discussions on tickets took place with Sebastian Coe, we can confirm this is untrue.

London 2012 - One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

"Seb received a letter from the HOC (as he did from other NOCs) and responded saying that tickets had been allocated in accordance with the IOC's ticketing policy. There was no further contact - either formal or informal - on this subject."

More than one million London 2012 tickets were distributed abroad among all the nations taking part in the Games, but the IOC has strict rules to try to combat touts.

National Olympic committees must ensure that their allocation is only sold within their own region.

Last month a senior Ukrainian Olympic official resigned after being filmed by the BBC offering tickets for cash.

'Strongest sanctions'

The IOC said in a statement on the latest claims: "The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has moved quickly to deal with allegations that some National Olympic Committees (NOC) and Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATR) have broken rules relating to the sale of Olympic tickets.

"The IOC takes these allegations very seriously and has immediately taken the first steps to investigate.

"Should any irregularities be proven, the organisation will deal with those involved in an appropriate manner.

"The NOCs are autonomous organisations, but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions.

"The IOC has also determined that it will take on board any recommendations coming out of the inquiry to improve the way that tickets are allocated and sold internationally in the future."

London 2012 organising committee Locog said: "Rules and regulations for selling London 2012 tickets to international fans are clear and unambiguous.

"National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and their Authorised Ticket Sellers (ATRs) sign a contract with Locog agreeing to specific terms and conditions.

"The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) has launched an investigation in to the allegations and we will support them in any way we can. None of the tickets in question came from the allocation to the British public.

No tickets intended for the British market were involved, it added.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 169.

    So an overhyped big money ( for some) circus breeds greed and corruption . Anybody surprised?

  • Comment number 168.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 167.

    Corruption in a coalition organised venture? I do not believe it!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 166.

    With all the wars, financial turmoil, global over-consumption, social and political failures around the world and at home currently.... i would have hoped for just one thing to be out of the reach of greed and corruption, but no. As a species we suck. Everything we touch turns into poop.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 165.

    This may be a silly question but... who profits from the legal sale of the tickets? Does it return the many billions spent on the games... or will it go into someone’s deep pockets as usual? Please don’t dare inform me that it will only pay for the firework display!!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 164.

    153. Tim091

    I have no problem with this. Sport is big business with big money available; we are a miserable, shivering little island of miserable, down-trodden people. No surprise if the chance of making some big money comes our way we take it. It is sad that morals and ethics no longer apply but that is the way it is now. Money rules, live with it!
    -
    Mr Enfield had an interesting take on Tim's

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 163.

    Caveat emptor

    Caveat venditor

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 162.

    Has it occurred to Olympic Officials that part of the solution may be to place the games in one set place and keep them there. This place (I think) should be Greece, which God knows needs the tourist activity. Moving the Olympics around only encourages loose controls.
    These were/are Greek Games. They should be Greek games again.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 161.

    150. spoton

    agree with that!

    "The mugs are the ones who buy any tickets even at cost price.
    They could easily sit at home and watch it all on TV if they really want to see any of the Olympics charade."

    Just think how much it will cost to watch it using PPV (Pay Per View)
    that's what is coming next.

    It's all Greed until people see what it is this will carry on

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 160.

    I enjoy the Olympics wherever they are held.

    I also enjoy the history of them.

    Corruption was certainly alive in the early representation of the festivals.

    Also,the amateur aspect was only applied to the modern variation as a way of keeping the 'riff-raff' out of competing.

    Pierre, apparently, was very enamoured with the idle rich of England and their lies and deceit.

  • Comment number 159.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 158.

    Lots of cynicism here. But there are crooks everywhere, even in charities. Don't let the actions of that tiny minority tarnish the hard work and achievements of the majority of the Olympic participants, especially the sportspeople and volunteers.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 157.

    My wife and I have received our tickets to the Olympics to a diving event. We also received 2 one day travel passes for TFL for zones 1 to 9. Can we on-sell these or will we get into trouble. We don't need them.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 156.

    I wrote several times to the International Olympic Committee last year complaining how official agents overseas were overcharging for tickets. Each time I wrote or phoned I was told my complaint had been escalated, but I heard nothing further. Subsequently I contacted the Mail on Sunday however they chose not to run the story.

  • Comment number 155.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 154.

    Where have the Olympics gone??

  • rate this
    -12

    Comment number 153.

    I have no problem with this. Sport is big business with big money available; we are a miserable, shivering little island of miserable, down-trodden people. No surprise if the chance of making some big money comes our way we take it. It is sad that morals and ethics no longer apply but that is the way it is now. Money rules, live with it!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 152.

    The whole olympic scam IS fraud - very few Britons give a fig about it, most wishing the money went to help our poor and vulnerable. Fat chance when govt. serves business.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 151.

    It's not just ticket sales that are hurting the Olympics. It's the doping, the cheating. I'm sure the original Greek athletes would be ashamed before their Greek Gods.
    The IOC takes these allegations very seriously. So what? What we need to see is some results, some prosecutions, something real which investigations (always) seem to lack.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 150.

    This is only human nature at work. Some people are greedy and others aren't. Surely we all know that?
    Its no different to any wholesaler buying up job lots of discontinued lines and selling them at a good profit.

    The mugs are the ones who buy any tickets even at cost price.
    They could easily sit at home and watch it all on TV if they really want to see any of the Olympics charade.

 

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