Olympics-Ukrainian official suspended amid ticket scandal

QUEBEC CITY Tue May 22, 2012 5:12pm EDT

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QUEBEC CITY May 22 (Reuters) - The Ukraine National Olympic Committee launched an investigation on Tuesday and suspended a top official accused of offering to sell thousands of dollars worth of tickets for the London Olympics on the black market.

Ukrainian Olympic chief Sergei Bubka suspended general secretary Volodymyr Gerashchenko after a BBC report said he allegedly offered to sell 100 tickets for the July 27-Aug. 12 Games to a reporter posing as a ticket buyer.

Bubka, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member who was attending meetings in Quebec City, said he would return home to Kiev, Ukraine, on Wednesday to the deal with the scandal.

"For us it is a really unpleasant situation, particularly for me as president of the National Olympic Committee," Bubka told reporters at a hastily arranged media briefing. "First I would like to say we have suspended Mr. Gerashchenko and started an investigation.

"We will create an independent commission to investigate what has happened."

Bubka said he had few details beyond the BBC report but had already informed Seb Coe, head of the London Olympic Organising Committee and IOC president Jacques Rogge of the situation. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Quebec City; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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