Inquiry launched into NOC Olympic ticket corruption

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering a major overhaul of how Olympic tickets are distributed to countries, following corruption revelations.

Olympic tickets
Olympic tickets

A report in The Sunday Times yesterday (17 June) suggested thousands of tickets from National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were being sold at exorbitant prices on the black market.

Thousands of top seats, including those at the 100m final, were for sale after being siphoned off from official supplies, the newspaper said.

Undercover reporters posed as representatives of a Middle Eastern ticket tout, and found 27 officials and agents who were willing to sell them tickets. The newspaper presented a dossier of evidence on agents and officials controlling the tickets for 54 countries.

NOCs are forbidden to sell their tickets abroad or to anyone who plans to resell them. Tickets outside the UK must be sold by companies which are Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATRs).

As a result of the report, the IOC held a meeting of its executive board and has launched an inquiry. It said in a statement it would "take on board any recommendations coming out of the inquiry to improve the way that tickets are allocated and sold internationally in the future."

The statement also said: "After claims that several NOCs and ATRs were reportedly willing to break the rules by offering to buy or sell tickets outside their territory, sell tickets at inflated prices, or sell tickets to unauthorised resellers, the IOC has ordered an immediate inquiry and referred the allegations to its independent Ethics Commission.

"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."

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