Engines idled for Venezuelan race car drivers

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Associated Press

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 10:04 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan officials have frozen all disbursements of hard currency to automobile and motorcycle racers who compete abroad while they investigate alleged corruption.

Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez told reporters Friday that some motor sports athletes obtained hard currency for "activities that were either fictitious or overpriced."

Venezuela's bolivar is subject to strict controls and dollars have become so scarce they trade on the black market at more than seven times the official rate.

Sports Minister Alejandra Benitez said in a newspaper interview Thursday that one driver got $66 million. She did not name the driver.

Among the affected is E.J. Viso, who apparently pulled out of this weekend's IndyCar Series season finale in Fontana, California.

He could not be located for comment. In a newspaper interview, Viso welcomed the investigation.

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