Ukraine official quits after Olympic 2012 ticket offer

Volodymyr Gerashchenko had been general secretary of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee since 1997

A senior Ukrainian Olympic official has resigned after being filmed by the BBC offering London 2012 tickets for cash.

Volodymyr Gerashchenko, of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee, told a reporter posing as a UK tout he would have up to 100 tickets to sell.

It is a criminal offence, punishable by fines of up to £20,000, to sell London 2012 tickets to touts.

Mr Gerashchenko was filmed telling the BBC London reporter: "You are priority number one."

A senior adviser to the President of Ukraine's National Olympic committee, Sergiy Bubka, confirmed Mr Gerashchenko had submitted his resignation.

He told BBC London: "He has resigned. It will not be appropriate for me in light of the investigation to comment any further."

'Extra tickets'

The official had initially been suspended after the revelations.

Acting on a tip-off, the undercover reporter posed as an unauthorised ticket dealer from the UK.

He spoke to Mr Gerashchenko who confirmed he would be prepared to sell tickets.

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Mr Gerashchenko, who had been general secretary of his national Olympic committee since 1997, was recorded saying: "I understand you're a dealer - that's why for me, you are priority number one, the top, the person, in case we have extra tickets to contact you, we contact you."

During a subsequent meeting at a hotel near the Olympic Park in east London, Mr Gerashchenko explained he was in the process of distributing tickets to Ukrainian fans, coaches and officials.

However, once this process had finished, he would be prepared to sell up to 100 spare tickets, he told the reporter.

Asked by the undercover journalist if payment could be made by bank transfer he replied: "I think it is when it comes, better cash. Possible?

"Better cash and finished with it. I hope to arrive 10 July."

Following the expose, London 2012 bosses said they took the claims "very seriously".

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