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Volume 6 No. 215


A ticket to the men's 100m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games was "illegally onsold four times, making quick profits for three different companies at each stage," according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. What started as a top grade £1,600 ($2,576) ticket for Usain Bolt's race ended up costing a customer £10,000 ($16,000). Three companies "were involved in the scam," one called Sportsworld, which was a long standing authorized ticket reseller for LOCOG. The three companies have been fined a total of £70,000 ($112,714). The revelations will put more heat on the IOC to "change its ticketing policies as part of a review due to report at the end of January." The latest profiteering started when Sportsworld sold 74 tickets worth £420,000 ($676,284), which it had "obtained through its authority as an authorised ticket reseller in some countries to its sister company Events International." Events International then onsold many of the tickets at "hugely inflated prices to a company called Imperial Corporate Events, which packaged the tickets with accommodation and again boosted the price astronomically" (TELEGRAPH, 12/11). The London GUARDIAN reported Detective Superintendent Nick Downing, who led the Metropolitan Police investigation, said, "These companies exploited the public enthusiasm for the Games and sought to make money by selling the tickets on at hugely inflated prices, despite knowing that they were breaking the law." Some £420,000 was made from the sale of the 74 tickets, "with buyers paying up to £21,120 ($34,000) for a pair of tickets to the Opening Ceremony, and tickets to watch the men's 100m final, with a face value of £1,600, sold for £10,000 as part of a package including a night in a hotel" (GUARDIAN, 12/11).

Cleans Sports India welcomed the IOC's decision to disband the Indian Olympic Association, "stating that the suspension has substantiated the country's sports fraternity's fight against the corrupt officials of the national sports body," according to the PTI. A CSI release said, "We feel that our fight against the officials of IOA and its malfunctioning under the leadership of Suresh Kalmadi and VK Malhotra is vindicated. In India there is a huge public outrage against these officials and all political leaders who are running our federations without restricting entries to sportsmen who have competed at the highest level." CSI also said that it "will co-operate with the IOC in starting reforms in the Indian Olympic Movement." However, it said the IOC must start the reform process soon "so that the suspension of IOA is revoked at the earliest to protect the interests of our current sportspersons" (PTI, 12/11). The PTI also reported former field hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan on Tuesday said that the suspension imposed on the IOA by the IOC "will prove beneficial for sports in the country." Aslam said, "The IOC basically wanted IOA to adhere to its charter and conduct elections so that persons with tainted background can be prevented from entering the sports body. This will definitely prove beneficial for sports and the country in future" (PTI, 12/11).

FAR-REACHING RAMIFICATIONS: THE HINDU noted "what are the implication of the suspension?" Indian athletes "would not be able to compete in multi-discipline games that came under the jurisdiction of the IOC, namely the Olympics and the Asian Games." Other int'l federations "did not seem to have been influenced by the IOC decision at this stage at least." Int'l Association of Athletics Federations Deputy Secretary General and Communications Dir Nick Davies said, "There is no connection between an IOC sanction of its NOC and the federation of athletics which is affiliated to IAAF -- so, for now, there is no impact on participation of Indian federation and its athletes at IAAF events." Int'l Hockey Federation Communications Manager Jenny Wiedeke said, "The IOC decision has no impact on FIH events." Contrary to what is being constantly projected in sections of the media, the IOC "sanction does not allow Indian athletes to compete under the Olympic flag." IOC's NOC Relations Dir Pere Miro said, "The IOA has lost all the rights covered by the Olympic Charter. Today, for Indian athletes it is not possible to take part in any competition under IOC jurisdiction" (THE HINDU, 12/11).

Funding agency UK Sport revealed Britain will "pump money into its most-successful Olympic sports" in a bid to match its London 2012 medal haul at the Rio de Janeiro Games, according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl said, "Investment will be targeted where it has the greatest chance of succeeding using our 'no compromise' philosophy, which sets out to reinforce the best, support those developing and challenge the under-performing." UK Sport, the body which distributes government funds and National Lottery money to the various sports governing bodies, will announce "who gets what next week, but minority team sports such as handball and volleyball are preparing for bad news." The appearance of British teams in sports such as handball, volleyball, water polo and basketball was "largely symbolic as Britain entered Olympic teams in every event for the first time." However, with "little realistic chance" of medals in those sports in Rio, UK Sport is "set to reduce" its funding under its no-nonsense "no compromise" policy (REUTERS, 12/11).