Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 19 News List

Olympic equestrian and tennis venue contracts rescinded

AP and Reuters, RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has rescinded contracts for venues for Olympic tennis and equestrian events for what the city calls “noncompliance to contractual clauses.”

Paes on Thursday annulled the equestrian venue contract and the contract for the tennis center on Wednesday.

“We can’t be at the mercy of those who don’t honour their commitments,” Paes told reporters.

“There is no risk. Everything will be delivered on time for test events and for the Games,” the mayor said.

Rio City Hall said the tennis center, which is in the Olympic Park, is 90 percent complete.

It did not list a progress report on the equestrian venue, although Paes has complained both projects are moving too slowly.

A spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizing committee on Thursday said it was “confident the venues will be finished and delivered as planned.”

The Olympics are to open on Aug. 5.

Despite a late start, finishing venues on schedule has not been a problem for Rio de Janeiro organizers.

However, South America’s first Olympics are beset with other challenges, including slashing US$500 million in expenses to keep the 7.4 billion real (US$1.8 billion) operating budget in balance.

This has required cutting unpaid volunteers from 70,000 to 50,000 and reducing seating in several venues as Brazil deals with its deepest recession since the 1930s.

“Both the tennis center and the equestrian center have gone through a test event and the works are at an advanced stage,” the city said in a statement.

The statement confirmed that new contractors would be hired to complete the projects.

City Hall and the dismissed contractors both said they would take their claims to court.

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