IOA to convey concerns about Dow’s Olympic sponsorship

first_imgIn the backdrop of growing outrage over Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the London Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to convey the concerns of the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster victims to the world body.In a letter to acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the sports ministry has asked him to take up the matter with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has entered into a 10-year agreement with Dow Chemicals.Dow has bought Union Carbide, considered to be responsible for the loss of thousands of lives due to the leakage of toxic gas in their Bhopal plant.While Malhotra said they will convey the concerns to the IOC, he admitted that the IOA is still undecided about its stand if the world body refuses to heed their requests.”On December 15 we have a meeting with all the IOA officials and we will decide what exactly has to be asked for,” Malhotra told Mail Today.”As of now what has been decided is that IOA will make IOC aware of the feelings of the people in India with regard to Dow Chemicals’ involvement. In the IOA meeting, we”ll decide on the other options as well.”In its letter, the ministry also states that Dow’s agreement is not only with the IOC but also with other National Olympic Committees (NOC), including the IOA.”Under the agreement between Dow and IOC, Dow will partner IOC and National Olympic Committees around the world, including India. We would advice the Indian Olympic Association to raise this matter immediately with the IOC, while keeping the government informed,” read the letter from joint secretary (sports) Rahul Bhatnagar.advertisement”You are also aware that the matter of Dow’s liability, in respect of the Bhopal Gas tragedy victims, is sub judice and that the government of India has itself filed a suit against the company. Strong public sentiment exists in this matter and a number of eminent Olympians have also raised concerns.”Many Olympians have come out in protest of Dow’s agreement with the IOC. Malhotra, however, stuck to his stand and reiterated that India will not boycott the Games.He admitted that the deal signed by the IOC with the sponsors automatically brings into it the National Olympic Committees although he claimed that the agreement was till the 2016 Olympics.”The National Olympic Committees automatically fall under the agreement because they are also involved in profit sharing with the IOC for the event.” Organisers of the London Olympics have entered into a sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals for an $ 11million artistic wrap around the Olympic Stadium.last_img

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