An ex-patriot British businessman based in Beijing, touched by the plight of British Olympic gold medal-winner Rebecca Adlington’s parents who lost more than Â£1,000 in an online scam, has offered to help the Adlingtons and other competitors’ parents trying to obtain tickets.
Mike Graham works at the Beijing office of a company called Fivalco. He read a report on sportsjournalists.co.uk, posted before Adlington’s 400 metres freestyle triumph, which told of how a rogue website called beijingtickets.com had been closed down by the IOC after it had been found to charging sports fans for Olympic tickets that it had never itself obtained in an elaborate scam.
The Adlingtons were forced to watch their daughter’s history-making 400m freestyle swim on TV at their home in Mansfield. The IOC had refused to offer them or other scam victims any compensation for the cash they had lost.
Now Graham has stepped forward by contacting the SJA, offering to use his Beijing connections to help the Adlingtons or other parents affected by the scam.
“I live in Beijing and may be able to help with tickets for the family members,” Graham said.
“I am a British businesman, not a ticket tout, and would like to help if I can get in touch with them directly or indirectly.
“Frankly, the swimming tickets are like gold medals – hard to get. I do not have any, as I am an athletics fan and will watch the athletics finals in the Bird’s Nest.
“But I will now put out the word to the ex-pat community here and try to get good tickets for the 800m freestyle final. I will probably have to pay three times face value, if I can get some, but will gladly sell them at face value to the parents as they have been ripped off by Brits.
“If successful, perhaps this will restore some faith in our collective integrity.”
The Adlingtons are flying out to Beijing today, ahead of the 800m freestyle final on Saturday.
The SJA has meanwhile contacted the BOA to pass Graham’s offer along to any other parents of British Olympic competitors who may have been affected by the ticket scam.
Graham can be contacted in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +86 1391 077 9704.