In the wake of the ticket problems from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, a number of countries have been found in violation of International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, and they will pay for it in the next Olympics, which take place in London in 2012.
IOC director Gilbert Felli was quoted about the situation recently in London’s Telegraph, where he stated that four unnamed countries will face a reduction in their allotment of tickets to the London Games as retribution for their Olympic officials’ alleged mishandling of the sale of Vancouver tickets.
Typically, the IOC provides each National Olympic Committee (NOC) with a certain number of tickets for officials, along with strict policies regarding resale. For the Vancouver games, members of NOCs were prohibited from reselling any of their allotted tickets. If a ticket was found to be a resale from this allotment, all other tickets awarded to the member in violation would be voided.
While Felli noted that the NOCs in question violated IOC rules in the way they handled their tickets, it is unclear if the IOC is referring to this specific “reselling” rule, or to other stipulations.
The Beijing 2008 Summer Games were rife with allegations of ticket fraud and incompetence related to the ticketing process. Vancouver’s Olympic Committee (VANOC) made a commitment to finding ways to avoid these troubles in 2010. Their strategies included filing lawsuits early against secondary ticketers they had seen as acting inappropriately, as well as building their own resale site in the hopes of reducing the opportunity for fraudulent ticket sales.
Compared to the 2008 Games, the Vancouver Games had far fewer incidents of fraudulent or illegal handling of ticket sales, and Felli noted that London’s efforts should be informed by the various successful methods used by VANOC.
However, the Vancouver Games were not without trouble. Recently, it was revealed that VANOC lost $2 million in a scheme in which a group of Latvians bought tickets to hockey and skating events with compromised credit card information. In February, a number of brokers failed to receive tickets purchased for the games when a deal fell through between the broker representing them and a middleman, with each suing the other on accusations of misconduct.