Sydney Olympic chiefs face ticket probe

The Sydney Olympics chief executive, Sandy Hollway, is under more pressure after an inquiry was launched into the Games' ticketing fiasco.

The Sydney Olympics chief executive, Sandy Hollway, is under more pressure after an inquiry was launched into the Games' ticketing fiasco.

New South Wales Minister Michael Knight confirmed auditors would start interviewing the Sydney Organising Committee's (SOCOG) staff and examining records over the ticketing policy.

Last week, Knight was forced to apologise after it was revealed most of the best tickets were not available to Australian sports fans. They had already been put aside for sales at triple the face value to business.

The New South Wales parliament, which is putting up most of the £1.2billion budget for the Olympic infrastructure and stadiums, demanded an independent investigation last week.

The controversy led Hollway to offer his resignation.

Hollway, who was accused of misleading a New South Wales State parliamentary committee over how many tickets had been set aside for the premium deals, was persuaded not to step down and left for a two-week holiday.

But in a letter to the parliamentary committee, Knight has named Hollway and marketing manager Paul Reading as "directly responsible" for ticketing.

The auditors were scheduled to present their final report on 15 November, with an interim one in time for next Monday's parliamentary committee hearing.

Last week SOCOG, under pressure from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), promised fans who missed out on their first two choices for tickets, the option of a full refund that could cost more than £3million.

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