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IOC reprimands former head of Lithuanian National Olympic Committee for tarnishing good name of Olympic Movement

Generalinis sekretorius Vytautas Zubernis
Alfredo Pliadžio nuotr. / Vytautas Zubernis
Šaltinis: BNS

Vytautas Zubernis, the then secretary general of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LTOK), tarnished the reputation of the Olympic Movement and failed to respect the International Olympic Committee's code of conduct when he got involved in the reselling of tickets to London Olympics, the IOC has said.

Zubernis is among six people mentioned the IOC's report published on Wednesday. The report was produced by the IOC Ethics Commission. The conclusions state that Zubernis was a recidivist.

"After taking cognisance of all the evidence and his observations, the Commission observes that, by agreeing to act on the request of a third party to purchase tickets with a view to reselling these, even though the NOC and its ATR had been reprimanded after the Olympic Games in Vancouver for breaching the same rules and had undertaken not to do so again, Mr Vytautas Zubernis failed to respect his monitoring commitment," the report says.

"By thus finding himself in a position of recidivist, Mr Vytautas Zubernis thereby failed to respect the IOC code of conduct and the LOCOG agreement, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the Olympic Movement," the document states.

The report was made following a publication by the Sunday Times. In June, the newspaper claimed that Asta Žirlytė, a representative of travel agency Baltic Clipper, which was the official Olympic ticket seller in Lithuania, allegedly offered to buy Olympic tickets which, she said, she had concealed.

Zubernis then told BNS "there were definitely no illegal actions in Lithuania," and that such answers were sent to London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"The first question was whether any tickets were sold to non-Lithuanian citizens in Lithuania and whether any tickets were sold outside the territory of Lithuania. The answer was no. The second question was whether any Lithuanian resident was allowed to purchase more than 20 tickets. There was nothing of that as well. The third question was whether tickets were sold pursuant to the valid agreement between Baltic Clipped and the Olympic Organizing Committee. Yes, provisions of the agreement were followed," Zubernis then said.

Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, president of the Lithuanian NOC, has refused to provide any further comments. "I have asked the PR chief to clear this out. I don’t have anything to comment in detail as yet, perhaps later," she told BNS on Thursday.

Zubernis is no longer the secretary general of the Lithuanian NOC after the committee's entire management changed in October.

Lithuanian NOC to look into Zubernis' conduct

Lithuania's National Olympic Committee has pledged to look into the conduct of its former secretary general Zubernis.

"The Lithuanian National Olympic Committee has turned to the International Olympic Committee with request to hand over all the information collected during a journalistic inquiry and, having received and examined it, will decide on further actions regarding Zubernis and the authorized ticket dealer," the committee said in a press release on Thursday.

The Lithuanian committee emphasized it was "looking at any possible actions related with potentially unlawful activities and possible damage to the reputation of the Olympic movement with utmost seriousness."

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