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Swedish Olympic Head Denies Payoff

January 26, 1999

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ The head of Stockholm’s bid for the 2004 Olympics denied a report that he made an offer to an agent who reportedly bought International Olympic Committee votes in the Salt Lake City scandal.

The agent, Mahmoud el-Farnawani, was quoted today by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter as denying a report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that quoted him as saying Stockholm bid chief Olof Stenhammar ``made this big offer ... it would be shameful for the Swedish people.″

In a prepared statement, Stenhammar said today that he met Farnawani only once and ``the accusation _ if it has been made _ is completely false with no connection to reality.″

``We had a discussion on the IOC and the bidding process, of which he had experience from earlier bid. I was never offered any services related to the question and I did not offer or in any way ask for any,″ Stenhammar said.

Asked about the Wall Street Journal report, Farnawani told Dagens Nyheter that, ``What’s in there isn’t correct.″

``I made it clear for (Stenhammar) that I did not want to work for Stockholm because I had earlier been involved in the competitor city Istanbul’s candidacy. I was very disappointed when Stockholm and not Istanbul got a place in the final round of voting.″

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