Olympians press London 2012 organisers to drop Dow as sponsor

Bhopal; Olympians from Bhopal have expressed satisfaction with the IOA`s decision to write a protest letter to the IOC, seeking Dow Chemicals` removal as an Olympic sponsor.

Dow Chemicals is one of the major sponsors of the Games scheduled to be held in July-August 2012 and hockey Olympians, former Union Minister and Ex-MP Aslam Sher Khan and Jalaluddin Rizvi had demanded that the Organising Committee of the London Olympics disassociate itself from Dow as it will hurt the sentiments of the Indians.

"We are satisfied to some extent that at least the sponsorship matter of Dow Chemicals has become a big issue and now even the Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Acting President, Vijay Kumar Malhotra have realised that the association of the MNC with the Olympics will not go down well with the Indian people," said Aslam.

"I am happy that the IOA has decided to write a strong protest letter to the organisers of London Olympics on the issue," he said.

Malhotra had on Thursday demanded that Dow be removed from being one of the sponsors of the Games in wake of the peoples` protests over a company linked with Union Carbide, which killed thousands in the gas tragedy.
Rizvi also welcomed the IOA`s decision. On what would be his stand in case Dow Chemicals continues to sponsor London Olympics, he said though it is it too early, in such a scenario as a sportsperson he would not favour boycott of Olympics.

Instead of boycotting Olympics, which happens after every four years, the players should take part in Olympics under protest by sporting black bands, he suggested.

However, Satinath Sarangi from Bhopal Group for Information and Action, a major NGO fighting for the rights of gas victims said "we will continue to persist with our demand of either Dow Chemicals should be withdrawn from the Olympics or India should boycott the Games."

"If this does not happen, it would amount to betrayal of Olympic spirit and the betrayal of justice to victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy," Sarangi said.

"I am hopeful that the issue would be resolved by March," he added.


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