IOA calls meeting to discuss Dow Olympic sponsorship row

New Delhi: With growing resentment in India over Down Chemicals association with the London Olympics, the IOA has convened a meeting on Friday to discuss the issue following IOC chief Jacques Rogge`s suggestion that they should enter into a dialogue with the athletes.

Although the IOA has made it clear that there was no question of India boycotting the Games, the meeting of the top brass assumes importance in the light of Rogge`s statement as well as the public outrage.

"A meeting has been called on December 9 to discuss issues related to this problem. The IOA`s general body and the Executive Board will meet on December 15," IOA Vice-President Tarlochan Singh said.

Tarlochan said all the issues related to Dow Chemicals sponsorship and the resentment it has created will be taken into account by the members before taking a final decision.

"The matter has to be thoroughly discussed, we can`t take a decision on our own. The sentiments of the people of Bhopal are also important," he said.

He said the IOA is aware of Rogge`s comments and would discuss his suggestion in the meeting.

Rogge had said that Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide -- the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy, was not directly liable in the case.

"Definitely, we respect a lot the emotion in India because this is a horrific catastrophe. While we understand the emotions and the grief, one has to say that Dow Chemical was not involved in the Bhopal issue," he has stated.

"We have advised the IOA to enter into a dialogue with their athletes and this is what they will do. I would hope the interest of sport and interest of the athletes will prevail."

The Indian government had asked the IOA to register a protest with the IOC on the matter as the tragedy`s victims have been outraged by Dow`s Olympic association.

In response, the IOA has promised to convey the concerns of the victims and Olympians to organisers of the 2012 London Games.

Dow Chemicals, which last year in July signed an agreement with the IOC, will foot the bill of a temporary decorative wrap over London`s Olympic Stadium and the move has created "dismay among the victims and others who see Olympic Games as celebration of best of human spirits."


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