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IOC probes ticket scandal

Published:Monday | June 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP):

International Olympic officials have opened a high-level investigation into allegations that authorised representatives in more than 50 countries - including a national Olympic committee - were involved in selling London Olympics tickets on the black market for profit.

The International Olympic Committee, convened an emergency session Saturday to discuss a dossier of evidence presented to it by Britain's Sunday Times. The newspaper published an investigation Sunday claiming that officials have been offering tickets for the July 27-August 12 games, including sought-after events such as the men's 100m final, at vastly inflated prices.

One of the most damaging allegations was against Spyros Capralos, the Greek Olympic Committee president and top organiser for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He was quoted as saying he had "pulled strings" with London organising chairman Sebastian Coe to obtain an extra batch of premium tickets for official agents in Greece, on the pretext that demand in his country outstripped expectations.

Undercover reporters

The paper said Capralos acknowledged in talks with its undercover reporters that demand had actually been very low, and that many of the tickets were subsequently sold on to people outside Greece for profit.

The London organising committee said Capralos' alleged boasts of discussions with Coe were untrue.

Coe had told the Greek Olympic Committee that tickets were allocated in accordance with IOC ticketing policy, the London committee said.

"There was no further contact - either formal or informal - on this subject," it said in a statement.

Capralos was not immediately available for comment. A Greek Olympic Committee official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, denied that anything untoward had taken place.