An angry row has erupted between local volunteers who help athletes with disabilities on the ground in Canberra and the administrators who run the Special Olympics organisation from the Sydney head office.
The chairman of the Canberra branch of the organisation says that the money raised in the ACT gets funnelled to the top.
"None of this money actually goes to local activities, programs or athletes," said Rob Regent, who chairs the ACT branch.
"I have asked for some of this money to come back to the club or, at least, to help run local programs, with the full support of our club committee and local community."
Mr Regent admits he was made redundant by the organisation but says he is not motivated by malice.
But there is clearly a rift.
The Canberra chairman said that local sportsmen and women with disabilities had to pay their own way for big events but the national chief executive flew business class to the global Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in March. Mr Regent said the athletes were back in economy.
None of the allegations are of illegality. Rather, Mr Regent is questioning priorities.
One of the stalwarts of the organisation in Canberra disagreed with Mr Regent.
Prominent Canberra businessman Glenn Keys, who has a son with a disability, said that the rift stemmed from when Australia hosted the Asia-Pacific Special Olympics in Newcastle in 2013.
There was a big overspend, and gate receipts were way below what was anticipated.
He said the Newcastle games nearly bankrupt the whole organisation.
"It's dreadful but as a business person do we go to the wall? We all agreed at the time that we would fight our way through," he said.
"I would like to see more coming to the ACT but we have to get our debts down."
The rift between the local Canberra chairman and the national headquarters has been brought into sharp focus by an upcoming fundraising event in Canberra. Mr Regent estimates that about $50,000 will be raised at a lunch in the Hellenic Club in Woden.
Every four years, there is a national Special Olympics and then the world games. The last national games was in Adelaide in April 2018; the world games just took place in Abu Dhabi.
According to Mr Regent, athletes had to pay upwards of $3000 to take part in the Australian games and more for the world event.
"Our athletes find it difficult to raise that much money. Some pull out because they can't afford it," he said.
The national organisation says it subsidises athletes to help them attend games - the participants don't pay the full cost.
A spokeswoman said that the chief executive, Corene Strauss, did fly business class to the global games but that was because she was upgraded by Etihad.
"I can confirm that Corene's booking was for an economy seat with the athletes, but Etihad, the World Games airline partner had upgraded her to Business Class when she got to the airport," said the spokeswoman.
"Corene spent a lot of time in economy coming home from the Games, spending time with the athletes. She also waited with the athletes for hours at the airport on arrival home, waiting with athletes for their pick-up, and was the only staff member/adult to do so."
The spokeswoman said that the chief executive "took a 20 per cent pay cut for two years to enable funds to be available for other jobs in the organisation." She was very successful in attracting sponsors.
Board member Shaun Fraser said the organisation was "run on the smell of an oily rag".