Aug. 05, 2008, 8:14 p.m. (ET)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic(AP) The Dominican Republic says it will pay its athletes who win gold, silver or bronze medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Sports Minister Felipe Payano said Tuesday the awards will range from nearly US$90,000 up to US$200,000. Winners could also get a car. It is the first time the Dominican government has made such an offer.

Payano said trainers and sports officials who work with the 25 athletes going to the games could also be rewarded. They will receive a bonus of nearly US$30,000 for each gold medal won.

The Caribbean country has won only two medals in Olympic history, a gold in athletics in 2004 and a boxing bronze in 1984.

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