Israeli licencee denies Olympics tickets scam
Yoav Bruck, the former Olympic swimmer
The Israeli former Olympic swimmer, Yoav Bruck, has vehemently denied allegations in the Sunday Times that he is part of an international black market selling tickets for major events at London 2012, at a large mark-up and against Olympic regulations.
Mr Bruck, who manages Israeli travel agency Issta Sport, was filmed by Sunday Times reporters offering 525 tickets to prime events for a total of £66,000.
But Mr Bruck told Israel’s Channel Two news: “The report is so flooded with inaccuracies, lies and inventions that it screams to the heavens. I was filmed as a seller for Cyprus, not for Israel. We are allowed to sell tickets in Cyprus and to all citizens of the European Union.
“I was filmed offering tickets to a reporter presenting himself as European, and since I was worried they might be journalists, I brought someone else with me, so I would have a witness that I was making sure they were European. Naturally, when you sit with someone for half an hour and they show only two minutes, it looks bad.”
Mr Bruck, who represented Israel in three Olympic Games, has also had to contend with unfavourable reports in the Israeli media. Local sports fans have complained that Issta Sport, which was licensed to sell London 2012 tickets in Israel by the Israeli Olympic Committee, has sold tickets to the most desirable events only as part of expensive package deals which include flights and hotels. Mr Bruck insisted: “We sell individual tickets as well as package deals and blocks of tickets”.
The Sunday Times reported that, by selling tickets as part of a package with flights and hotels, Issta Sport was effectively demanding three times the face value of the ticket. But Mr Bruck denied that the mark-up on any ticket was more than the 20 per cent allowed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations.
he Israeli Olympic Committee said: “Issta Sport signed an agreement which details all the conditions, requirements and limitations. We have no doubt that Issta studied the agreement, and assume that it acted accordingly. The IOC has announced that it will examine the allegations. We will act in accordance with instructions we will receive from the IOC.”