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IOC to investigate black market ticket claims

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating claims that Games tickets have fallen into the hands of touts - originating from other Olympic committees, independent.co.uk reports.

With little over a month until the London 2012 Olympic Games officially start with Danny Boyle's much-anticipated opening ceremony, it's sad that the biggest story is the claim that 27 representatives from 54 countries have reportedly touted tickets illegally on the black market. According to guardian.co.uk, 'AA' blue ribband tickets are being sold for up to £6,000.

Allegations emerged yesterday in the Sunday Times that a quarter of all of those countries participating in the Olympics, who are supposedly upholding Olympic values, could be involved. It's likely, however, that the investigation won't be concluded before 27 July.

Sir Menzies Campbell, who sits on the Games board, branded the scandal a "thorough disgrace" and suggested the cancellation of any tickets sold at greater than face value. "That's what happens at rock concerts", he said.

Tickets for overseas audiences are allocated to National Olympic committees (NOCs) and are forbidden from being sold abroad or to touts, however, it is alleged that officials 'were willing to breach rules'. This allocation numbers 1.1 million of the 8.8 million total tickets.

Undercover Sunday Times journalists were reportedly offered 1,500 tickets for £80,000 from Serbia and 'best seats in the house' for £6,000 each from China.

An embarrassed London Organising Committee (Locog) said their terms and conditions on selling were "clear and unambiguous". Whether the tickets will be returned for use by the British public is yet to be confirmed.

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