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SBD Global/December 7, 2012/OlympicsPrint All
Following an investigation by the IOC, four national Olympic committees "will be forced to impose severe sanctions against their officials after London 2012 tickets were sold on the black market for up to 10 times face value," according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. The IOC said that it is "unable to directly sanction the officials involved but will apply overt pressure on the national Olympic committees to take action." The IOC plans to "withdraw support for the committees" at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games. Violations by Olympic officials in Greece, Lithuania, Malta and Serbia, as well as some of the authorized ticket resellers, has led to the IOC committing "to an internal review that will decide whether it should take over the entire ticketing operation." The review will be completed by the end of January. Olympic officials under the spotlight consist of Greek Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos, Olympic Committee of Serbia General Secretary Djordje Visacki, Maltese Olympic Committee President Lino Farrugia Sacco and General Secretary Joseph Cassar, "who were preparing to sell on most of its Sochi winter Olympic tickets for £60,000 ($96,000); and Lithuanian officials involved in deals with its ticket reseller, the Baltic Clipper representative Asta Zirlyte (TELEGRAPH, 12/5). The AAP cited IOC spokesperson Mark Adams as saying the four national Olympic committees must take "appropriate measures" against their officials or face further action, such as withdrawing accreditation for Olympic meetings and events. IOC ethics rules allow it to directly sanction national Olympic committees but not individuals. IOC President Jacques Rogge said, "We are studying if this could be changed in the ethics code." Capralos was the "highest-profile casualty of the string, which also trapped the Greek Olympic marketing chief Nicole Avramidou" (AAP, 12/6).
The Canadian Olympic Committee announced a one-time C$2.6M ($2.62M) contribution to Canadian teams competing at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, according to Lori Ewing of the CANADIAN PRESS. COC President Marcel Aubut said, "As the host nation, all eyes of the Americas and the whole world will be on us, we have to deliver the best. Expectations -- because it's Canada, because it's Toronto -- are very high. Canada will truly be able to put our best team forward on the field of play." The funding is part of the COC's recently announced investment of almost C$100M for Olympic sports over the next four years. Aubut said that the funds -- 98% of which comes from the private sector -- will be "part of the '13 to '16 high-performance action plan for athletes, coaches and national sport federations." He added that Canada could field a team of 1,000 athletes, coaches and support staff at the 2015 Games (CANADIAN PRESS, 12/5).
A feasibility study conducted last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Populous into a possible Dubai bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, declared "70% of the hard infrastructure was already in place or planned in the emirate," according to Ahmed Rizvi of THE NATIONAL. Dubai eventually decided against a bid for the 2020 Games. Officials of the UAE National Olympic Committee also decided "a bid would be better timed for '24." Should the NOC prepare a bid, the Meydan sports complex will certainly figure prominently in their presentations. There is probably "no better venue in the world for equestrian sports." The "glitzy" Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Sports Complex would also "be near the top of their list." It has already hosted the World and Asian swimming championships and a host of other events such as diving and water polo (THE NATIONAL, 12/5).
The IOC said that it has opened an investigation into a South Korean footballer who displayed a "controversial sign" while celebrating the country's Bronze Medal at the London Olympics. The IOC said that it has formed a disciplinary commission to investigate the case of Park Jong-woo (YONHAP, 12/6). ... The IOC has postponed a decision on whether to strip Lance Armstrong of the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for legal reasons. IOC President Jacques Rogge said that the IOC was "powerless to act" as the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) is yet to formally notify Armstrong of its decision to annul all his results since Aug. '98 (RTE, 12/5). ... The Int'l Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final has begun on Thursday in the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi. The test event for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is the first int'l competition at the venue hosting the olympic figure skating and short track tournaments in '14 (Sochi 2014).