IOA rejects IOC's Dow defence

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) urged the government yesterday to intervene after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to drop Dow Chemicals as a London Olympics sponsor.

IOA acting president Malhotra said he was not convinced by IOC's argument that Dow was not to blame for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.

"We want IOC (to) understand and appreciate the feelings and sentiments of the victims and drop Dow as sponsors," he said in a statement.

Malhotra asked the Indian government to come out with a clear stand on the issue. He complained that the government had not responded yet to a letter from IOA on the issue.

Malhotra's remarks followed IOA's refusal to accede to mounting calls that Dow must be kept out of the Olympics.

In a letter to Malhotra, IOC chief Jacques Rogge said: "IOC recognises that the Bhopal tragedy in 1984 was horrific event for India and the world.

The IOC and LOCOG were aware of the Bhopal tragedy when discussing the partnership with Dow. Dow had no connection with the Bhopal tragedy."

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