By Duncan Mackay

Spyros Capralos at podiumFebruary 14 - Spyros Capralos, who last year was accused of damaging the Olympic Movement after being implicated in the London 2012 ticket scandal, has been re-elected as President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC).

Capralos, first elected in 2009, was publicly criticised by the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Ethics Commission after he had allegedly told undercover reporters from Britain's Sunday Times that he could get more tickets for London 2012 for them, even though this against the rules.

The Ethics Commission claimed that Capralos, who played for Greece's water polo team at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, as "a very well-known personality within the Olympic Movement...and thereby causes even greater damage to the reputation of the Olympic Movement".

Capralos, however, was backed by the European Olympic Committees, where he is a member of the Executive Board, at its annual meeting in Rome a few days after the IOC Ethics Commission report and now the HOC have publicly shown their support by overwhelmingly endosring his re-election.

Since the initial publication of the Ethics Commission report more than two months ago the threat of Capralos facing any punishment appears to have largely disappeared. 

Capralos made no mention of the London 2012 ticket scandal in his victory speech, instead preferring to warn of the dangers that Greek sport faced becuse of the dire economic situation in the country.

Spyros Capralos at London 2012 Torch Relay renamedSpyros Capralos played a leading role in the London 2012 Torch handover, alongside Boris Johnson, the Princess Royal, David Beckham and Sebastian Coe

"Greek sport and sports federations due to dramatic cuts in state subsidy, face severe difficulty in surviving," he said.

"And, without the Sports Federations, there is no elite sport, there is no participation in international events and therefore, no participation in the Olympics.

"The HOC will continue its efforts, as it did during the previous four years, to claim and provide for our athletes money and subsidies from the International Olympic Committee.

"We will also try to realise the promise made by the IOC, to financially support the work of the HOC.

"We will also continue our efforts in finding sponsors from the private sector in order to finance the activities of the HOC. 

"We must all stand united against the difficult days that have come for Greek sport. 

"Let us all together fight and focus on how we can better help our athletes, who have to make a long struggle for the next four years with limited means and resources."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
December 2012: 
European Olympic Committees on collision course with IOC after they back officials in London 2012 ticket scandal
December 2012: HOC President ruled to have "damaged reputation of Olympic Movement" after London 2012 ticket scandal
June 2012: London 2012 ticket story is untrue and "misleading", claims head of Hellenic Olympic Committee
June 2012: Ban them from Olympic Movement, says Oswald after London 2012 ticket allegations
June 2012: Emergency IOC Executive Board meeting held after London 2012 ticket scandal