ISLAMABAD – Pakistani sports officials Monday rubbished claims by a British newspaper to have uncovered a visa scam that could have allowed potential terrorists into the Olympic Village.
The Sun tabloid said it had busted a racket involving a politician in the eastern city of Lahore that could have given access to the London Games as part of the Pakistani contingent in return for a million rupees ($10,000).
Pakistan’s Olympic chef de mission Aqil Shah dismissed the Sun’s claims.
“These are baseless reports,” Shah told AFP. “This is an attempt to malign Pakistan. Even if someone gets a passport he cannot enter the Olympic Village without an Olympic accreditation card.”
The Sun said its undercover reporter was offered the chance to go to the Olympics posing as an official member of the Pakistani contingent on a two-month visa.
Pakistan’s 39-strong delegation — minus Shah — is already in London and consists of 23 athletes and 16 officials.
Shah justified the number of officials.
“Hockey has at least six officials which are under the rules and then we have physicians and other coaches who are genuine members of Pakistan’s contingent,” said Shah.
Pakistan Olympic Association chief Arif Hasan was already in London and discussing the matter with the Pakistan High Commission, said Shah.