India wants 'Bhopal Dow" out of London Olympics

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2011, 12:03 PM IST

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: The Sports Ministry on Monday asked the Indian Olympic Association to immediately raise the Dow Chemicals’ Olympics sponsorship issue with the International Olympics Committee.

In a letter addressed to the IOA, the ministry said, “Strong public sentiment exists in this matter and a number of ex-Olympians have raised the issue.”

"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 ex-Olympians have also raised concerns," the letter stated.

"In the light of the above, and the fact that under the agreement between Dow and IOC, Dow will partner IOC and National Olympic Committees around the world, including India. We would advise the Indian Olympic Association to raise this matter immediately with the IOC while keeping the government informed," it added.

Dow Chemicals, which is one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics, had bought Union Carbide -the company responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy that killed over 15000 people and maimed lakhs.

The victims of the tragedy are demanding that India pull out of the Games if Dow continues to be the sponsor of the event.

The issue has already drawn much attention with celebrities citing the "appalling" rights record of Dow Chemicals and appealing to the Organisers of the London Olympic Games to drop the US company as a sponsor of the prestigious sports event.

With PTI inputs