Chinese fans are paying 25 times the official rate for tickets to see Liu Xiang, China's 110m hurdles world champion, defend his Olympic title next year, state media reported on Friday.
An internet-driven black market is seeing prices spiral upwards for seats at popular events during the August 8-24 Games, according to Chongqing Business News.
Touts are cashing in on events where China has medal hopes and competitors like Liu, China's sporting golden boy. He soared to fame by winning the Olympic title in Athens four years ago and boosted his appeal last month with a gold at the world championships.
"Every since he made a name for himself, people have been trying to cash in," the newspaper said in a report carried on a popular internet news portal.
Official ticket prices for the 110m hurdles final next August 21 range from USD 26 to USD 104.
"Those tickets are already on the web priced at 40,000 Yuan," the report said.
Seats for other popular events like table tennis, men's football and the opening ceremony are selling at up to 10 times the original asking price, the report added.