KIEV, May 28 (Reuters) - A top official from Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee has resigned over allegations he offered to sell thousands of dollars worth of tickets for the London Games on the black market.
The committee said in a statement on Monday on its website (www.noc-ukr.org) that Volodymyr Gerashchenko, the general secretary and second highest-ranking official on the 149-member body, stepped down after an emergency meeting last Friday.
It added that an investigating panel had been set up to probe the allegations, which stem from a BBC report which said that Gerashchenko had offered to sell up to 100 tickets for the July 27-Aug.12 Games to a reporter posing as a buyer.
“After the meeting of the executive committee, the general secretary resigned. At the same time. V. Gerashchenko gave an assurance that he would cooperate fully with the investigation,” the statement said.
“Ukraine’s NOC will do everything it can to clarify all aspects of the affair.”
Gerashchenko, 56, who has been in his post since 1997, was temporarily suspended from his role on May 22 when news of the scandal broke during Olympic meetings in Quebec City.
The Ukraine Olympic Committee was allotted 2,900 tickets for distribution to various officials and groups.
It said that Gerashchenko’s functions as general secretary required him to go to London to ensure the accreditation there of Ukraine’s athletes and official delegation.
The affair casts a shadow over the former Soviet republic’s international image as it prepares to co-host the European soccer Championship with Poland next month. (Writing by Richard Balmforth, editing by Mark Meadows)