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 249.

    Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 248.

    Corruption never goes away, its part of our society that we live in, greedy peoply will, rather than do an honest days work, try to, and do rip off the innocent. It is a wonder that Governments of the past have not put into place measures that stop this racket, but then they would find a way round that too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    I think the Olympics is run in an undemocratic manner, lacking transparency and sport trails far behind the interests of money making.

    This story is totally in keeping with the modern Olympics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.

    I like the way this story has very quickly been buried by the BBC, it was a headline this morning. Who's been leaning on the BBC?
    The olympics are a play thing for the rich, the people who pay for the games (taxpayer) gets the scraps. Sports celebrities and tele stars all win then it's gongs from Queeney all round (none for the plebs who gave up their time to volunter). Makes you weep.

  • rate this

    Comment number 245.

    Let's hope the Olympic committee manage to sweep this under the carpet. It won't look good to have any scandal at this Olympics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 244.

    As these tawdry games get ever closer we can all see just how unsavoury they are, frankly I have absolutely no respect for any participant as they are merely serving to support the shocking behaviour of IOC, the UK Government, LOCOG and all the other parasites spending our money for their benefit.

  • Comment number 243.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.

    Special lanes on the London roads for V.I.P,s. Tickets to flog for IOC officials. Did anybody think these Olympics were about anything else?Maybe if the IOC could let us know where they are going to sale their "spare" tickets it would be useful.
    We should let them park their cars on one of the special lanes ,set aside for them and operate a car boot sale!

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    SO sick of hearing about self sacrificing sports men and women who have had to give up so much to compete.
    If you don't want to drag everyone along in your selfish pursuit of fame and wealth - then DON'T
    Olympic spirit? do me a favour. Athletes changing nationalities to compete; taking drugs to win big deals and make money. I agree that some athletes are genuine but they are the suckers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    The only thing I'm surprised about is how long it took for the ticket corruption story to break - inevitable that this was going to happen.

    The UK taxpayer is paying for all of this but it seems that he/she is last in the queue for getting to see events that they wants to see.

    Meanwhile Tessa Jowell gets a gong BEFORE the Olympics and we have an opening ceremony that is Trumpton on a big budget.

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    Just walked past a travel agents window in Milton Keynes shopping centre. It is plastered with tickets for sale. Some are 8 or 9 hundred pounds each! How is this fair wehn thousands didn't get any in the draw?

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    167.Frater Ananda

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

    How wrong you are - this whole fiasco was the love-child of Tony Bliar and Lord Crow - while Labour ran (down) the Country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    Why is anyone suprised? The awarding of these large sporting events has long been known to be flawed with endemic corruption, so why would this not flow on to ticket sales?

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    Always going to be Olympic haters jumping onto anything they can perceive as negative..... how about you allow people who aren't such typical British bleaters to enjoy themselves and you go on with your lives without moaning and complaining.

    The games aren't going to disappear just because you are moaning about your few extra quid in taxes.

    Waaa waaa waaa

    Get over it

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    The Olympics in London was a great honour for the UK.

    However, it has been exposed just how debased the whole ideal is. VISA as a sponsor has insisted that in no Olympic venue can you use anything other than a VISA card (or to buy tickets with). Forget drinking anything not made by Coca Cola - no drinks can be taken in. No umbrellas - in case they might advertise something....

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    What? the Olympics is bent? Well I never. I thought the reason tax payers had paid for this farce so that our business men and women could get rich off the back of it and the tax payer, not to fund a fraudulent scam by it's officials. I feel very let down...

  • Comment number 233.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    Possible scam? No really? In my personal opinion once you get politicians involved, and there is talk of profits, the whole thing becomes a scam. Am I surprised? oh heck no.

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    Olympic Spirit RIP??? Typical Brit reaction.

    Is this tkt scandal good? NO. Do I hate the modern deals and corporate involvement in ALL sports not just the Olympics. YES.

    However, millions of athletes and people worlwide are inspired by the OG's. I myself have spent 10 years working towards my position as a gamesmaker. You may hate you didn't get a tkt but the Spirit survives above your moaning

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Why is anyone surprised at this? The whole complicated "system" seemed designed for fiddling. Why we British citizens who are footing the bill for all this malarkey couldn't just buy tickets over the counter - perhaps by producing our passport - I just don't know. Will any of the organisers get sacked? Jailed? Knighted??


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