Senior Ukrainian Olympic official suspended after ticket row

Sergey Bubka, president of the Ukraine National Olympic Committee, has suspended an official over ticket fraud claims

Story highlights

  • Senior member of Ukraine National Olympic Committee (UNOC) suspended
  • Volodymyr Gerashchenko said to have agreed to sell 100 Games tickets on black market
  • Gerashchenko suspended by UNOC president Sergey Bubka Wednesday

Ukraine has suspended one of their top Olympic officials after an investigation alleged he was willing to sell up to 100 tickets for the London Games on the black market.

A probe by the BBC, a British broadcaster, made the claims about Volodymyr Gerashchenko, a senior member of the Ukraine National Olympic Committee (UNOC).

Gerashchenko, who has been part of the UNOC since 1997, was told of his suspension Wednesday by president Sergey Bubka, the former pole vaulting legend.

A statement on UNOC's website quoyed Bubka as saying: "As President of the Ukraine NOC, I am committed to maintaining the highest standards and ethics within the Olympic Movement.

"I am deeply concerned about these allegations and I have ordered an immediate investigation in Ukraine. I have briefly spoken with General Secretary Gerashchenko and informed him that he is suspended pending this investigation.

Pressure to succeed at the Olympics
Pressure to succeed at the Olympics


    Pressure to succeed at the Olympics


Pressure to succeed at the Olympics 04:58
Cuba's punching pedigree
Cuba's punching pedigree


    Cuba's punching pedigree


Cuba's punching pedigree 03:04

"I have also spoken to (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) chairman Sebastian Coe since I learnt of this news and informed him that I will ensure that we fully co-operate with any subsequent investigation that takes place in London.

"There has never been a situation where we have had a surplus number of tickets and those that we have received will all be distributed using official channels.

"London 2012 is going to be a spectacular celebration of sport and it is imperative that tickets are distributed to deserving recipients."

However, AFP reported that Bubka's deputy, Viktor Korzh, was dubious about the veracity of the BBC's claims.

"I still have great doubts about this and think that the whole story could come to nothing," he is said to have told reporters.

In their undercover operation, the BBC alleged Gerashchenko told a reporter he was willing to sell up to 100 tickets.

He said: "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."

When the charges were put to him, he is said to have responded that he "never planned to sell tickets in the UK," and had been making "diplomatic talk to satisfy the persistent interest of the ticket dealer."

      Sports spotlight

    • AG2R pair Peraud and Romain Bardet (right) thrilled the French fans with their performances on the 2014 Tour de France.

      When will French win Le Tour?

      Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
    • Steve Way leads the in the Commonwealth Games marathon with the favorites massing behind him.

      From 20-a-day man to 26.2 miles

      Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
    • The queen of the selfies

      After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
    • Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.

      Rowsell stands proud again

      Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
    • GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: John Barrowman performs during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

      Gay kiss steals Glasgow show

      At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
    • Daniel Carter of the All Blacks in action during the Third Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Yarrow Stadium on June 22, 2013 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

      Can the All Blacks make history?

      The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.

      Three days with 'The Greatest'

      Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
    • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates after scoring his team's second goal in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

      Can ice hockey go global?

      With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
    • The first cover star of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, Babette March

      Swimsuit legacy: First cover model

      Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.