The parents of one of Britainâ€™s brightest medal hopes have lost Â£1,100 in the ticket scam which has fleeced hundreds of Olympic fans across the world.
The mother and father of 19-year-old Mansfield swimmer Rebecca Adlington, the worldâ€™s top-ranked 800 metres freestyler (pictured left), had booked the tickets through beijingtickets.com to see their daughter compete in the Water Cube.
Tonight in Beijing, Adlington qualified for tomorrow’s final of the 400m freestyle with a British and Commonwealth record 4min 02.24sec – the second fastest time of the heats. But her parents will be forced to watch the final on television from their home.
Last week her parents were told that they would not be receiving any tickets after it emerged that the site was an elaborate scam allegedly set up by a London businessman.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has now taken legal action in California to get the site closed down but has said that it will not offer compensation to those who have been victims of the illegal scheme.
The British Olympic Association had been aware of the problem since March and alerted the authorities at the time.
By that time Adlingtonâ€™s parents had already spent a four-figure sum to book a set of tickets to go to Beijing.
Kay Adlington said: â€œWe brought the tickets in January and delivery should have been two to four weeks before the Games started.
â€œThen last Monday we had an e-mail to say that there were no tickets, the suppliers hadnâ€™t been able to honour their commitments and we wouldnâ€™t be getting our tickets.
â€œThe website did look official and said it was official.
“It looked like you could trust it and they had tickets at a reasonable price.â€
In the mass e-mail sent, the company acknowledged that it did not have any Olympic tickets to distribute – including the opening ceremony it had been selling for as much as Â£1,000.
The e-mail from â€œAlan Scottâ€ told customers that â€œour suppliers have not been able to honour their commitments to us in supplying tickets for the Summer Olympics, despite having received written assurances from these suppliers.
“We are given to understand that they have placed themselves in to bankruptcy, despite having been paid in full by our company.â€
After a desperate search last week the Adlingtons have successfully brought some tickets for Rebeccaâ€™s 800m final next Saturday and are due to fly to Beijing on Wednesday.
Kay Adlington said: â€œWe have managed to get some much cheaper tickets and we have to collect those when we get out to Beijing.
â€œIt will be somewhat disappointing if she reaches the final and fulfils all her potential that we are probably going to be sat on the top of the diving board or somewhere like that.â€
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