Ukrainian General Secretary Expelled After Summer Olympics Ticket Scandal
Volodymyr Gerashchenko, the former general secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU), has been expelled after he was filmed by the BBC offering London 2012 tickets for cash on the black market.
The 65-year-old, who had held the senior position for 15 years, told an undercover reporter posing as a UK tout he would have as many as 100 tickets from Ukraine’s allocation of 2,900 to sell.
A commission established by the NOCU President Sergey Bubka found he had “grossly violated the basic principles of Olympism.”
Gerashchenko resigned last month after the report was broadcast on television, causing huge embarrassment to Bukba, who was forced to leave the annual Sport Accord Convention in Quebec City early to fly home to Kiev to deal with the scandal.
A statement on the NOCU website said Gerashchenko would be excluded from the organization for “violation of membership obligations.”
Gerashchenko’s expulsion coincides with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asking Sochi 2014 to suspend their ticketing program after they opened an Ethics investigation following allegations in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper that 27 officials and ticket sellers representing 54 countries were willing to offer London 2012 tickets on the black market for sale at inflated prices.
Olga Zhukovskaya, a member of the NOCU, claimed that Gerashchenko was drunk when the incident happened and he offered to sell the tickets, which is illegal in Britain and carries a penalty of up to a fine of $31,000.
Zhukovskaya said Gerashchenko had been “in a state of inebriation” when he met the reporter. Zhukovskaya also claimed that Gerashchenko had not been in a position to sell tickets.
“We have found out that Gerashchenko did not have the power to negotiate on such matters,” she said. “There are no left-over tickets and he had no access to ticket distribution. He agreed to that conversation [with the reporter], which he did not consider to be serious, in a state of inebriation. He was talking about things he had no power to discuss.”
Insidethegames.biz is a blog of the London Games organizing committee. This article is reprinted here with permission of the editors. Readers can follow articles on the blog by going to http://insidethegames.biz.