In preparation for what is expected to be the most expensive Olympics in history, an independent report out of Russia has found that up $30 billion has been stolen by officials and businessmen leading up to the 2014 games in Sochi.
Former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov released a report Thursday of his findings.
"The main conclusion from the first chapter of our report is that, in preparing for the Olympics, $25 to $30 billion have been stolen," Nemtsov said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "The expenses for the Winter Olympics in Sochi turned out to be more than all expenses for all the sports structures at the previous 21 Winter Olympics put together."
Nemtsov, who is described as a Russian opposition figure, claims he came up with the monetary amounts by comparing the initial cost estimate ($12 billion) with the final price tag ($51 billion).
By contrast, Vancouver spent $6 billion on the winter games in 2010.
In an interview with RFE/RL, Nemtsov blamed those in power -- specifically those close to President Vladimir Putin -- for the embezzlement.
"It is obvious that Putin's friends are running the preparations for the [2014 Sochi] Olympic Games," Nemtsov said. "It is also obvious that one is reluctant to put his own friends behind bars. However, we cannot look at all this passively because the scale [of their activities] will only grow bigger. The embezzlement they are presiding over is not just some kind of children's game but a real threat to Russia's national security."
Those in charge of the spending have yet to respond to the report's claims.