IOC officials in Rio notified of golf land dispute
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The International Olympic Committee has been officially notified about a legal dispute over the ownership of the site of the planned 2016 Olympic golf course.
A court official visited the hotel where IOC officials were staying Wednesday to have the president of the coordination commission for the 2016 Games, Nawal El Moutawakel, sign the order notifying her and the IOC of the dispute.
The IOC and 2016 Rio committee have downplayed the issue as golf prepares to make its return to the games for the first time in 110 years.
The IOC did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment. The IOC's coordination commission is making its first official visit of the year to Rio, and fourth since the city won the bid to host the games in 2009.
The court document named El Moutawakel and the IOC's coordination commission, along with the local Public Olympic Authority. El Moutawakel said she complied with the court official but could do nothing more than relay the document to the IOC's legal departments in Switzerland.
There has been a long legal dispute over the land that is claimed by two different companies. Local organizers say they have enough guarantees from the businessman who says he is the current owner, but a judge has already said that any contracts made over the land will eventually be deemed illegal and nullified in case a court ruling goes against him.