Ukraine Olympic official resigns in ticket scandal

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May 28, 2012, 5:38 p.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Associated Press

Volodymyr Gerashchenko

A top Ukrainian Olympic official resigned Monday following allegations he offered to sell thousands of dollars worth of tickets for the London Games on the black market. The Ukrainian Olympic Committee said secretary general Volodymyr Gerashchenko stepped down and investigation into his actions was launched.

Gerashchenko was accused in a BBC television report last week of telling an undercover reporter posing as an unauthorized dealer that he was willing to sell up to 100 tickets for cash.

Ukrainian Olympic Committee President Sergei Bubka said the body "takes accusations very seriously and that is why we have acted so swiftly to address the recent BBC reports."

A three-person independent legal panel was set up to investigate, and Gerashchenko promised to cooperate with the probe, the committee said.

Gerashchenko, who had served as secretary general since 1997, had been suspended by the committee last Tuesday following the BBC report.

It is a criminal offense in Britain to sell Olympic tickets on the black market, an offense punishable by fines of up to 20,000 pounds ($30,000). Under rules applying outside the European Union, tickets can only be sold to people who are residents in that country.
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