Land dispute over Olympic course takes another turn


On the order of a Brazilian court, organizers for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were unable to produce an agreement Friday with the owner of the proposed space to develop a golf course to stage the sport's return to the Games.

The court issued a search warrant for such contracts as a result of a suit brought by Elmway Participacoes, a company claiming ownership of the parcel to be transformed into a Gil Hanse-designed course for the Olympics.

City officials said it had not signed any contracts related to the development because it would be handled privately, according to the Associated Press.

Pasquale Mauro claims ownership of the land to the satisfaction of city officials, who announced an agreement to build the course on the land earlier this year. Elmway Participacoes has disputed the ownership claim for the last three years.

Upon announcing Hanse as the designer whose vision was selected for the Olympic course, Rio 2016 organizers said a deal had been struck with Mauro to build it. In exchange for the acreage and paying for a portion of the cost to construct the course, Mauro would later be able to develop housing with more relaxed requirements.

Olympic organizers said the contracts for the course would be finalized by the end of June. The city, however, will not be involved. Instead, the Rio 2016 committee, Pasquale Mauro, the course's construction company and an association assigned to manage the course after the Olympics will be parties to the deal.

When Hanse was awarded the job as designer, it was announced construction would begin on the course in October. The course is to be completed in time for a test event in early 2015.

The city has not developed an alternative plan in the event the proposed land cannot be developed for the course.