The president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) said yesterday in Stockholm that the organization faces a "very, very difficult" task next week when it meets to decide Ingemar Stenmark's eligibility for the 1984 Olympics.
Friday, two ski officials, including FIS Secretary-General Gianfranco Kasper, said the Swedish star would not be allowed to compete in the Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, unless he transferred his earnings to a Swedish Ski Federation account.
But Marc Hodler, Swiss president of the FIS, said at a news conference today that a formal decision on Stenmark's status would not be made until next Sunday, when the FIS council meets in Berne, Switzerland.
Stenmark, 27, won Olympic gold medals in the slalom and giant slalom in the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., and also has captured an unprecedented 17 World Cup titles and five world championship gold medals.
The FIS wants Stenmark to cancel all endorsement contracts or transfer all the funds from those contracts from his Monte Carlo residence to a Swedish Ski Federation account in Sweden. But under Swedish laws, 90 percent of Stenmark's estimated $4 million would go toward taxes.
Stenmark's "B" license allows him to keep all the money he earns from endorsements the day he retires from skiing.
In Budapest, the Soviet Union's Natalia Yurchenko displaced teammate Olga Bicherova as the women's all-around champion as Bicherova watched from the sidelines in the World Gymnastics Championships.
Olga Mostepanova of the Soviet Union was second, edging Romania's Ecaterina Szabo, who performed brilliantly in three of four events, receiving two scores of 10 and a 9.95.