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 229.

    When I was buying tickets online I was not allow buy them From lreland , if i was from norhen lreland I was allow anyone tell me why lrish people not can get tickets for games :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    I say nothing offensive, likely to cause a breach of the peace, racist, swearing or foul language and yet some of my posts are removed.
    Some of the moderators must be extremely sensitive people or biased.
    Anyway the Olympics are still a stitch up with tickets for the corporations,rich,famous etc. What about Joe Public. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.
    OK boys delete maybe?

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    It's just another example of corruption and lunacy. When the Flame came through our town, all the shops decorated their windows and one small shop used Olympic colours. They were contacted by LGOC and threatened by legal action because they might be thought of as 'sponsors.' How would anybody mistake a small shop for a tooth-rotting Olympic sponsor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    hope the whole thing collapses in a pile of sleaze, rubble and torrential rain

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    I'm not sure if there's really a story here.

    It involved over 50 countries.

    If each's officials were given, say 50 complementary tickets, that wouldn't seem excessive, but would amount to thousands.

    If they can't allocate them what do they do? Give them away? Or then feel silly for not asking a market price?

    Doubtless there will be some pure money-grabbing too, but how much in fact?

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    London 2012: IOC begins Olympics tickets investigation

    Surely this is nothing new?
    Along with the Countrys that are alledged to be selling them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    With the constant suspicion of drug cheats competing and now evidence of corrupt ticket sales, it's a wonder that people still support this sad show which purports to showcase the highest values of sportsmanship but which is now such a sullied affair.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    I have played sport all my life (55 yrs old) and loved the Olympics and watched enthusiastically once upon a time. I cannot tell you how sad the whole shambles now makes me feel! The much vaunted "Olympic Heritage" is, in my case, complete disillusionment.
    I would not go near an Olympics on any account!

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    One of these days, the British public will finally snap and stop being so soft.

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    Shock horror! I said from the outset on here that this would happen - the big corporations and backhanders that go on has led to this. If anyone is surprised by this I am speechless....

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    32 Minutes ago
    spoton are you an MP ? you sound crooked enough to be one .it is not human nature to rob people or to profit from greed. it is only an unjust government that does that"

    No; someone must hold me to be, or to have been, crooked in someway. Not unexpected.
    It actually is true that most humans try to make as much material gain as possible. Capitalist conditioning.

  • Comment number 218.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    Why is it that in the past tickets have been handled for big events by ticket agencies who are experienced in this type of thing? But for the Olympics it seems that they are trying to re-invent the wheel. Why? So far this has been an organisational disaster simply because the Olympics organisers are not willing to utilise services that are readily available and proven.

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    215.Peter Young - "....Things must fit in with what the BBC considers acceptable....."

    Do grow up & stop warping how HYS moderation works - if someone dislikes your post for whatever reason & report it, the Beeb temporarily remove it & give you the chance the argue against being moderated.

    The Beeb doesn't choose what to remove, it's up to other uses to complain in the first instance.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    For goodness sake never ever tell the truth and expect to be published what planet are you from? Things must fit in with what the BBC considers acceptable never mind about what everybody else thinks. Free speech died a long time ago.

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    Lord Coe has a lot to answer for. I tried at every opportunity to get a few tickets without success. Now it is clear why. These Olympics are for the Rich and the well connected. They only inspire greed and fraud.

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    You only have to look at the shameless sponsors to know the IOC sold its soul to the devil a long time ago!
    This is a Money machine not a symbol of humanity!

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.

    No surprises here !
    One rule for one, another for everybody else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    Why cannot the rich, famous & high officials queue up like everyone else? As for Olympic committee members, if they attend, they should have a pass with their picture on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    This shows that corruption is prevalent all over the world.remember the corruption in the Commonwealth Games in new delhi,India.

    Tkts shd be sold at one counter only in a city and payment shd be by credit card,OR issued on the day to the public, standing in a Q.
    Mumbaikar INDIA 17/June/2012


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