The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is investigating a media report that National Olympic Committees and Authorized Ticket Resellers broke rules over the sale of London 2012 tickets.

The IOC is also referring the allegations to its independent Ethics Commission, it said on its website (www.olympics.org) on Saturday.

The early edition of the UK's Sunday Times newspaper said several National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATRs) were willing to break the rules by offering to buy or sell tickets outside their territories, to sell tickets at inflated prices or sell tickets to unauthorized resellers.

"On being informed of the allegations the IOC immediately convened an extraordinary meeting of its executive board and determined a number of actions - the convening of the Ethics Commission and asking for any evidence of wrongdoing to be provided to the Commission without delay," said the IOC.

"The IOC takes these allegations very seriously. Should any irregularities be proven, the organization will deal with those involved in an appropriate manner.

"The NOCs are autonomous organizations but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions," it added.

The London Olympics start on July 27.

(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Peter Rutherford)