IOC to “investigate” in Olympics touting row

July 2012

Live events industry, ticketing

In a perhaps an all too predictable story, a ticketing scandal involving more than a quarter of the 204 countries represented at the Olympics looks set to hang over the London Games, after it emerged that an internal investigation is unlikely to be completed before the opening ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee has promised to investigate allegations that 27 agents representing 54 countries were prepared to offer thousands of unauthorised tickets at prices of up to £6,000 to undercover Sunday Times reporters posing as Middle Eastern buyers. After an emergency board meeting, the IOC said it took the allegations very seriously and referred the matter to its ethics commission. “Should any irregularities be proven, the organisation will deal with those involved in an appropriate manner. The NOCs [national Olympic committees] are autonomous organisations, but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions,” it said in a statement. Re-selling Olympic tickets is a specific summary offence in the United Kingdom, punishable by a fine of up to £20,000.

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