India should take part in London Olympics: Randhir

New Delhi: India should not boycott the London Olympics on Dow Chemicals issue as doing that would be a "tragedy" to the athletes of the country who have been preparing for the Games, IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh said on Friday.

Randhir sympathised with the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster for which Union Carbide, which was taken over by Down Chemicals in 2001, was responsible but felt that boycotting the Olympics was not the right way of dealing with the situation.

"India should take part in London Olympics. Bhopal gas tragedy was a disaster and thousands of people were affected. We feel for them. But at the same time, boycotting the Games would also be a tragedy for the athletes," Randhir said.

"Top athletes have qualified for London Olympics. This time, India have also qualified in hockey. They should not be deprived of the chance to represent the country in the Olympics," he said.

"More than 60 per cent of the Indian people are youth and Olympics celebrates the power of youth in a big way. So it would be a disappointment for the youth of the country if India boycotts the Games," said Randhir who is also an International Olympic Committee member.

IOA Acting-President V K Malhotra had said earlier that India could not afford to boycott London Olympics but indicated that it could consider taking part under protest.

On the IOA`s Executive Board meeting, Randhir said the committee accepted the two letters written by Kalmadi to IOA Acting President, which said that he would not assert his rights and obligations as IOA President as he would not be able to function as IOA chief for long time.

The Executive Committee passed a resolution that the IOA Acting President will continue as IOA chief with all the powers under its Constitution," he said.

There was some confusion on whether the IOA`s Ethics had become null and void following the decision to circulate the amended rules of the IOC to the members.

Randhir, however, made it clear that the existing Ethics Commission will continue to function.

"The resolution we have passed is very clear. The existing Ethics Commission stands. We have circulated the IOC`s amended rules to the members and we will frame the new rules after getting the feedbacks", Randhir Singh said.