Israeli Olympic Ticket Seller Caught in Black Market Scandal
Israel’s official ticket seller for the upcoming London Olympic Games was one of 27 agents caught selling tickets at inflated prices, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.
The Sunday Times launched an extensive two-month investigation into ticket sales, leading the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to form an internal investigation inquiry into the matter.
The newspaper’s reporters, posing as representatives of a Middle Eastern ticket dealer, uncovered that agents representing 54 countries, including Greece, China, Serbia and Lithuania, were among those involved in the scandal.
According to the report, Yoav Bruck, who swam for Israel in the 1992 Games and runs Issta Sport, the sole authorized ticket seller for Olympic events for Israel and Cyprus, was caught trying to sell journalists 525 tickets for 66,000 pounds.
The Sunday Times reported that tickets, obtained from National Olympic Committee supplies, were then sold to the highest bidder, often at 10 times their original price.
IOC rules forbid member national committees from selling tickets abroad, inflating ticket prices or selling tickets to unauthorized resellers.
“After claims that several NOCs [National Olympic Committees] and ATRs [authorised ticket resellers] were reportedly willing to break the rules by offering to buy or sell tickets outside their territory, sell tickets at inflated prices, or sell tickets to unauthorized resellers, the IOC has ordered an immediate inquiry and referred the allegations to its independent ethics commission,” the IOC said following the report.
“The IOC takes these allegations very seriously and has immediately taken the first steps to investigate. Should any irregularities be proven, the organization will deal with those involved in an appropriate manner. The NOCs are autonomous organizations, but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions.”
The IOC also welcomed recommendations from the inquiry into how to improve ticket distribution in the future.