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SBD Global/December 7, 2012/Olympics

IOC Will Force Four NOCs To Sanction Officials After London 2012 Black Market Involvement

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).
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