Bubka suspends official
Sergei Bubka President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee said he had
suspended the secretary-general of his NOC over claims he had sold
tickets for the London Olympics on the black market.
Bubka, a pole vault legend who has forged a successful career in
sports politics, said that he had no option but to suspend Volodymyr
Geraschchenko after the BBC had revealed that he had been exposed in a
sting operation trying to sell on 100 tickets for the Games.
"I immediately suspended Volodymyr Geraschchenko," said the
"We are going to set upan independent commission to investigate
"We must be fair and come to a correct decision." Bubka, Olympic
champion in 1988 and a six-time world outdoor champion, added he was
cutting short his trip here - where there is an International Olympic
Committee meeting at the annual Sport Accord Convention - to return to
Ukraine on Wednesday.
After receiving information that someone from Ukraine's national
Olympic committee might be prepared to sell tickets, a BBC reporter
posing as an unauthorised ticket dealer from the UK spoke to Mr
Gerashchenko who confirmed he would be prepared to sell tickets.
Mr Gerashchenko, who has been general secretary of his national
Olympic committee since 1997, told an undercover reporter: "I understand
you're a dealer - that's why for me, you are priority number one, the
top, the person, in case we have extra tickets to contact you, we
contact you." During a subsequent meeting at a hotel near the Olympic
Park in east London, Mr Gerashchenko explained he was in the process of
distributing tickets to Ukrainian fans, coaches and officials.
However, once this process had finished, he would be prepared to sell
up to 100 spare tickets.
Asked by the undercover journalist if payment could be made by bank
transfer he replied: "I think it is when it comes, better cash.
Possible? "Better cash and finished with it. I hope to arrive 10 July."
When asked by the BBC why he was prepared to break Olympic rules and UK
law in offering his country's Olympic tickets on the black market, Mr
Gerashchenko claimed he had "never planned to sell tickets in the UK"
and had been making "diplomatic talk to satisfy the persistent interest
of the ticket dealer".
He said: "We have more demand than the number of tickets so we will
use all tickets allocated to the NOC of Ukraine. We will need more
tickets and we will try to find them on the Locog Exchange page." Mr
Gerashchenko said that the meeting with the undercover reporter "was
unofficial, with no intention to make any real deal", either in writing