The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just postponed the start of ticket selling for 2014 Winter Games to be held in Sochi, Russia due to allegations of corruption involved in the London Olympics' ticket sales.
Last week, the IOC started an ethics investigation following a report from the Sunday Times newspaper of Britain that the ticket agents and officials of the Olympic committee in different nations were eager to sell to the black market the tickets of the London Olympics at a lower or very high price.
Reporters of the paper who were undercover as illegal sellers of the tickets for Middle East clients alleged that the national Olympics committee and their ticket agents are violating the rules.
According to the paper, it showed the IOC a file of proof of the 27 officials who were controlling the tickets for 54 nations including accusations that several of them were prepared to sell the tickets for ten times more than their original cost.
The ethics committee of the IOC has requested the paper to submit all its documents. Although the investigation is not expected to be finished until the London Olympics is over, the committee can prohibit any concerned officials from going to the games and suspend them.
The number of tickets allocated by organizers to each of the Olympics' 205 national committees is part of the issue. The committees assign a local group in charge of selling the tickets as a way to ensure that there is equity.
The rules of the IOC prohibit the national committees from selling the tickets outside of their country, increasing their cost or selling them to resellers that are not authorized.
President Spyros Capralos of the Olympic Committee in Greece is one of the accused in the report of the Sunday Times. According to the paper, Capralos told the undercover reporters that he "pulled strings" with Mr. Sebastian Coe, the organizing chairman of London, to get additional tickets for Greece' official agents.
According to the paper, Capralos acknowledged the very low demand and that led to the selling of a lot of tickets to individuals outside of Greece for profit.
Recently, the Greek committee made a statement that denies Capralos' wrongdoing. The committee said that the way the comments of Capralos were presented were "fragmentary" and "misleading."
The Olympic committee of Serbia also denied the offense after the paper claimed that Djordje Visacki, its general secretary, was attempting to facilitate the selling of tickets to the black market.
In the past month, Volodymyr Gerashchenko, the secretary general of the national Olympic committee of Ukraine, resigned after a report from BBC television alleged that he was willing to sell tickets on the black market that are worth thousands of dollars in exchange for cash.