| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Jan 27 The Indian Olympic
Association (IOA) on Friday renewed its demand that London 2012
terminates its sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals, feeling
vindicated by the resignation of a Games watchdog panel member
over the tie-up.
Meredith Alexander quit the Commission for a Sustainable
London 2012 on Wednesday, saying she did not want to be part of
a body that "became an apologist" for Dow Chemicals, the U.S.
firm linked to India's 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
Dow bought the Bhopal plant owner Union Carbide in 1999.
Alexander said a number of other panel members were also
"deeply disturbed" by the company's sponsorship of a temporary
decorative wrap around London's Olympic Stadium.
Her resignation prompted IOA chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra to
send a second letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC)
president Jacques Rogge exactly six months before the Games,
saying there was no need to carry "this toxic legacy".
"...the resignation of Ms Meredith Alexander from the Games
Ethics Committee - the Commission for Sustainable London 2012 -
has vindicated IOA's stand of opposing Dow's sponsorship,"
Malhotra wrote in his letter, copies of which were distributed
to Indian media.
"I am sure that you are well aware of the growing opposition
to this sponsorship the world over with NGOs (non-governmental
organisations), intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Members of
British Parliament and civil society openly coming out against
"On behalf of the IOA I again urge you to take steps to
remove Dow as sponsor and settle the matter as early as
possible," Malhotra added.
Activists say 25,000 people died in the years that followed
the gas leak at a pesticides factory in the central Indian city
of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
Campaigners have demanded Dow boosts a 1989 compensation
package for those affected by the disaster.
Dow, also an IOC worldwide partner, has denied any
responsibility for the accident and says Union Carbide had
settled its liabilities with the Indian government.
A number of former Olympians have slammed the London
sponsorship deal while Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj
Singh Chauhan has urged the government to boycott the Games over
However, Malhotra has ruled out the possibility.
Malhotra said he has sent a copy of his letter to London
Games chief Sebastian Coe as well, while also conveying the
IOA's position to the British High Commissioner in India last
(Editing by Mark Meadows; To query or comment on this story
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