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

    Comment number 189.


    This is only human nature at work.

    Quote correct - but that doesnlt make it right - human nature also includes murder, bullying , torture, theft, infidelity etc etc
    So lets have less apparent pride in the less worthy aspects of humanity please

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    You mean there are people who are suprised by this? Why? Do they all think that ;bankers' are a breed apart? It was to be expected.

    Agree. IOC is just another money making venture with incompetent management and a blind side for things it doesnt want to, or cant, deal with.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    This is all the fault of those venal, corrupt, unelected and tyrannical bureaucrats in Brussels. It must be because they are the ultimate cause of everything that goes wrong in this country and have stripped our nation of any power whatsoever. Since no-one in this country has any power left, it must clearly be the fault of the EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    the one true creator is Spirit and not depicted as any form such as the pagan's"

    Well, if the "one true creator" felt strongly enough about this matter, then a clear and unequivocal sign would be sufficient to signal his displeasure. Since we don't seem to have seen one we can either conclude he doesn't exist or doesn't care enough to make his opinion clear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    I am surprised that they are for sale....

    I would not have them if they were given to me?!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Expecting the Olympics to be capitalist and ethical at the same time is like expecting someone to be a child abuser and a saint.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    Absolutely right, Bigjack at 180. The ticket allocation and purchase was a lottery - to make it as fair as possible. We were lucky - we won the lottery, twice, for cycling and diving.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    I would have been amazed if tickets weren't being sold on the black market.

    But it doesn't surprise me that the organisers were too stupid to see it as they've been totally incompetent throughout.

    4 times over original budget and Coe in denial - why on earth put someone in charge of billions just because he used to run fast?

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    That things like this happen by unscrupulous people who have access to make an illegal profit for themselves is not news what would be news is if none of this happened. A thug and gangster in Ukraine attempts to sell off Olympic tickets, a UK Olympic official denies doing the same but there's an appearance of impropriety, so on and so on. There has never been an Olympics where this did not happen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    Not surprised. The whole ticket allocation and purchase has been a lottery. I have always thought that the whole Olympics was a "con" and we were the mugs laying for inflated salaries of the organisers. if the tickets involved can be identified then they should be cancelled and anyone turning up with one should be arrested.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    The one thing that seems to be impossible is an ordinary British citizen just purchasing a ticket for an event he'd like to see.

    Black markets, lotteries, big business giving them away as 'prizes' to customers...freebies for politicians and other hangers-on... nowt left for the sports fan to buy :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    Is it not amazing that ordinary people pay taxes and go about their business legally.

    Then along comes the politician who we vote to put into power. They misuse their power to generate wealth for themselves.

    In the end who picks up the bill the people going about their own business, and the thieves get away with it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    24. Under-Used
    "The whole thing is a fraud. From the selection of the host, the building of the stadias..."

    An otherwise bog standard self-opinionated rant brought to it's knees by trying to be too clever: 'stadias'. D'oh!

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    Let the games commence!
    Ticket fraud, over budget, Teletubbies opening ceremony, rip-off food/drinks/transport/accommodation prices, surface to air missile sites, navy destroyer patrols, lousy weather, transport strikes etc...
    Welcome to the London Olympic games.
    Can't wait

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    Show me any International body and I will show you corruption. Different countries have different personal values and therefore many see nothing wrong with offering inducements, be they tickets to sports venues or just corporate events.
    Lord Coe is in charge let us see if he sorts it!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    The whole thing stinks of fraud all those involved from top down no doubt have questions to answer?

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    There is an awful lot of tosh being written about 'noble' ideas no longer applying to the Olympics.

    The ancient ones were about glory, nothing else. If you won, you were a hero, if you lost, you were nothing.

    There was very little 'It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game' ideals.

    Modern sport is becoming more like the ancient concept.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    Gosh..!! What a surprise. Lol! And guess what, it's everywhere......except in the UK. 2012? Great for Britain,...what a joke. The tragedy is that the joke is on ordinary British people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    Yet we are supposed to ignore the fraud of enforced payment for vastly overpriced food and drink by preventing the spectators from bringing in their own contraband scoff and liquids.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    The Olympics should be held in Greece every time. They are Greek and they have been stolen? Greece is owed Billions by the countries who have hosted the Olympics? It's not just the Elgin marbles that should be returned - it's the Olympics.

    Novel but fair solution to a perceived set of problems.


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