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Russia gifts Olympic athletes with BMWs, cash

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, poses with Russia's Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Anastasia Maximova. Photo / AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, poses with Russia's Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Anastasia Maximova. Photo / AP

It's not all bad being a Russian athlete amid an Olympic doping crisis.

Russia will award each of its medallists at this year's Olympics Games in Rio a BMW sports utility vehicle and at least 1.7 million roubles (NZ$36,000), state news agency TASS reported on Thursday.

Russia placed fourth in the overall medal count at the Games with a total of 56 - 19 gold, 18 silver and 19 bronze.

Gold medal winners will get 4 million roubles and a BMW X6, which sells new in Moscow for about 4.5 million roubles $US70,000 (NZ$95,000).

Silver medallists will receive 2.5 million roubles and a BMW X5, and bronze medallists will get 1.7 million roubles and a BMW X3. The medallists are also eligible for other rewards from Russian regional administrations, including the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies for housing.

Following previous Olympics, Russia presented its medallists with Mercedes and Audi vehicles.

President Vladimir Putin congratulated Olympic medallists at the Kremlin on Thursday as part of a series of festivities attended by sports minister Vitaly Mutko and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev. Russia's participation in this year's Olympics was overshadowed by far-reaching allegations of abuse of performance-enhancing drugs.

Russia's track and field team, including dozens of the country's top athletes, was banned from the Rio Games, and all Russian athletes have been banned from the September 7-18 Paralympics

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