Two-time gold medallist Matt Richards has called out the IOC for not taking better care of their athletes. GETTY IMAGES

Olympic freestyle gold medallist Matt Richards has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take better care of athletes competing at the Games and their families after his parents fell victim to an online ticketing scam. Richards' mother Amanda has told the BBC that the family had been scammed out of £2,500 pounds (€2,955 euros) by a ticket website that "looked perfectly legitimate”. The swimmer has called out the IOC and its President for not providing competitor’s families with better access to tickets. 

"I do find it crazy that when competing at an Olympic Games, the families of the athletes have to source and fund tickets themselves," Richards posted in an Instagram story addressed to @Olympics.

"Given that you won't pay the athletes who compete in the event (that creates billions every year in revenue) due to it 'not being the Olympic spirit', do you not think it's time that you support the families of the people competing, by giving them tickets to the events that their family members are competing in?” the two-time gold medallist went on to say. 

Richards was a member of the Great Britain men’s 4×2 relay quartet that won gold at the Tokyo Games and has qualified for the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle and relay events in Paris. His family had been unable to afford tickets in the official ballot where only the most expensive, priced at €3,000 each, were left by the time they got their turn.

"We couldn't afford to buy tickets for everything he's swimming in but we wanted to be there for sort of the important ones, the semis and the finals, so we bought tickets for five evening events," Richards' mother said after buying tickets from an unofficial site which turned out to be a scam.

Richards said "seeing your family or friends compete at an Olympic Games shouldn't be reserved for the people that have thousands to spare". 

"I think it's time that (IOC president) Thomas Bach and the IOC start taking care of their athletes and not just their shareholders."