IOC Delays Sochi Ticket Sales Process; China Probes Allegations; NOCs, Retailers Investigated
An aerial view of Sochi from May 19. (Getty Images)
(ATR) The IOC "temporarily delays" Sochi 2014 ticket sales process.
A statement issued by the IOC on Wednesday says the move comes following a Sunday Times
report that claims National Olympic Committees and Authorized Ticket Retailers were improperly selling tickets to the London Olympics.
“The IOC has convened its Ethics Commission to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the story,” the statement said.
“During this process we have asked the Sochi organizing committee to temporarily delay the planning for its international ticketing program while we review the situation.
“The move is purely precautionary. Sochi 2014 is not affected by the allegations and we continue to work closely with them, as they develop their ticketing program for the Olympic Winter Games.”
Ticket Retailer Investigations
Greg Harney, head of Global Sports Partners, which is a part of Cartan Tours, an Authorized Ticket Retailer, tells Around the Rings
that while he has “no specific information” about any developments, he speculates “there appears to be more focus on [other ATRs] than Cartan.”
“With that said, we are aware that LOCOG is sending to several NOCs (not just to Cartan's NOCs) a notice requesting of them to confirm that their ATRs are servicing them properly and that there has been no illicit sales being conducted in their territories,” he said in an email. "To our knowledge our NOCs have cooperated fully as have we with our reports.”
Cartan was one of the ATRs named in the Times
On June 18, Harney told Around the Rings
his firm did not violate any rules in discussions with the reporters – and that he reported their activities to LOCOG. No business was ever transacted, Harney says.
China Investigates Allegations
Song Luzeng. (COC)
The Chinese Olympic Committee is investigating reports that it was one of the NOCs attempting to sell Olympic tickets on the black market.
Song Luzeng, COC secretary general, was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency saying the COC would launch a “thorough and sincere internal probe” into the allegations.
“We will keep a close eye on the issue and report the updated information to the International Olympic Committee in time.”
Coates on Scandal
John Coates also serves as president of the Australian Olympic Committee. (Getty Images)
IOC Executive Board member from Australia John Coates says an audit should be conducted by smaller NOCs in the future to prevent scandals like this.
He made the comments to the Australian Associated Press, saying he was confident in Australia’s ATR, CoSport.
"We've certainly got to look at what other measures we can take to ensure we retain the integrity of the process," he said.
"It seems to me it wouldn't be too difficult, the big National Olympic Committees wouldn't be the problem, to have some sort of audit requirement built into your agency agreement.
"You will be required to subject your records to an audit by one of the big four auditors to make sure the tickets have been sold on your territory."
Written by Ed Hula III.
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