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  • The Brazilian Federal Police is looking into a possible diversion of public resources from the Sports Ministry of Brazil.

    The Brazilian Federal Police is looking into a possible diversion of public resources from the Sports Ministry of Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

The scheme involves Olympic and Paralympic athletes from Brazil, according to prosecutors.

Brazilian police have launched an investigation into an alleged corruption ring inside the scholarship program that allocates funds to athletes who participated in the Olympic Games

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The Brazilian Federal Police is looking into a possible diversion of public resources from the Sports Ministry of Brazil.

"In a one year period, the group managed to create 25 ghost athletes, in high-performance and Olympic levels," police said in a statement.

"The fraud would have started in 2012 and, according to information from the Sports Ministry, there could be a loss of between 810,000 and one million reais (about US$315,000).”

The organization is alleged to have taken resources from the “Bolsa Atleta” athletic scholarship program, which was created in 2005 and has benefited 23,000 athletes, according to the Sports Ministry.

Allegations of irregularities came from the Ministry itself after it was suspected of possible fraud in 2012 and began an internal investigation.

About 77 percent of Brazil's Olympic delegation and 91 percent of the Paralympic delegation was involved in the program. Eighteen of the 19 Olympic medals won by Brazil and all of the 72 medals won in the Paralympics were received by beneficiaries of the "Bolsa Atleta."

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