Despite being linked to a black market ticket sales operation related to the 2012 London Olympics, Greek official Spyros Capralos has been nominated as a member by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to the Associated Press.
IOC President Thomas Bach defended the selection of Capralos despite his ties to the scandal. “Yes, there has been a warning after London 2012,” he said. “This is seven years behind us. Both the IOC Members Election Commission and Ethics Commission came to the conflusion that, after seven years, he’s served his sanction.
“A warning cannot mean exclusion forever.”
A water polo player as a younger man, Capralos represented Greece at the 1980 and 1984 games in Moscow and Los Angeles, respectively. He has served as the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee since 2009. He also served as the executive director and deputy chief operating officer of the 2004 Athens games.
Eight years later, he was at the center of a ticketing scandal that saw tickets to popular events available on the secondary market for many times their original face value, in violation of strict anti-resale policies that remain in place today. UK newspaper Sunday Times found officials in more than 50 countries to have been involved in the process of moving tickets through to unauthorized distribution channels, including Capralos boasting on camera that he “pulled strings” with London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe to obtain premium tickets, and told undercover reporters he could obtain more.
Of course, both Capralos and the London Organizing Committee denied the allegations. After an investigation of the reports by the IOC, he was “heavily criticized” by the IOC Ethics Commission but got off with only a warning.
He is one of ten proposed members in this cycle for the IOC. The organization will vote to approve the nominations in June.