Lausanne: Reiterating its support for Dow Chemical, the International Olympic Council (IOC) today again rejected demands from the Indian government that the company be dropped as sponsor of the London Games because of its links to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
"We consider that Dow chemical has no responsibility in what happened in Bhopal in 1984. Dow acquired the company Union Carbide 16 years after the tragedy. Our position is very clear we consider that Dow was not responsible," said IOC President Jacques Rogge here.
"Yes...it`s a catastrophe, it`s tragic that around 25,000 people were killed and many more were left handicapped and disabled. We have a lot of sympathy for the victims and their families," he added.
The Sports Ministry had last month sent a letter to the IOC seeking Dow`s removal as Olympic sponsor. Replying to the letter, IOC National Olympic Committee Relations director Pere Miro had written to the joint secretary in the Sports Ministry, Rahul Bhatnagar that Dow Chemical neither owned or operated the plant at the time of the Bhopal gas leak disaster.
Miro further wrote that the IOC and LOCOG were aware of the Bhopal tragedy when discussing the partnership with Dow.
After IOA failed to convince the IOC to drop Dow Chemicals as the London Games` sponsor, the Government had stepped in to ask the IOC to go beyond lesser considerations and cancel the deal.
The move came after the IOC refused to entertain pleas by the Indian Olympic Association.