Ministry asks IOA to raise Dow issue with IOC immediately
New Delhi: On the eve of IOA`s General Body meeting, the Sports Ministry has shot off yet another letter to the sports body asking it to raise the issue of London Olympics sponsor Dow Chemicals "immediately" and "emphatically" with the IOC.
Dow Chemicals, one of the sponsors of the London Olympics, is the company that took over Union Carbide, responsible for the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy that killed over 15,000 people and disabled lakhs.
The sports ministry said the International Olympic Committee`s association with Dow Chemicals "militates against the fundamental ethical principles of the Olympic movement".
The ministry`s letter, the second in the last two weeks, has reminded the IOA that it would be unacceptable to the government if Dow Chemicals, by virtue of its sponsorship association with IOC, was allowed to have sponsorship roles in India.
"It is learnt that as part of the agreement with IOC, Dow will partner the IOC and the National Olympic committees around the world, including India. Therefore, the DOW-IOC agreement will have an impact on the activities of the IOA directly.
"In this background, it is imperative that the IOA raises the issue immediately and emphatically with the IOC to draw its attention to the sensitivities of the victims of the tragedy in Bhopal," the letter said.
Addressed to IOA acting president VK Malhotra, the letter further stated that the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers is seeking transfer of an ongoing writ petition in Madhya Pradesh High Court where the government is seeking a compensation of Rs 100 crore from Dow Chemicals for environmental remediation costs.
The Ministry expressed concern about the status of the contentious company as the official worldwide Olympic partner.
Dow Chemicals signed an agreement with the IOC last year in July.