Indian govt asks IOC to drop Dow as Olympic sponsor

New Delhi: After IOA failed to convince the International Olympic Committee to drop Dow Chemicals as the London Games` sponsor, a "dismayed" Indian Government has stepped in to ask the IOC to "go beyond lesser considerations" and cancel the deal.

In a letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge, the Sports Ministry has sought Dow`s removal as Olympic sponsor. Dow currently owns Union Carbide, the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy.

The move comes after the IOC refused to entertain pleas by the Indian Olympic Association. "We cherish and celebrate the noble ideals of the Olympic movement. India stands firmly committed to these ideals and the values they promote of friendship, unity, brotherhood and compassion," the letter stated.

"We strongly believe that there is no better medium than sports to inculcate and foster the feeling of friendship and solidarity among the people of the world. This being so we are dismayed that the IOC has not respected the sentiments of a large group of stakeholders including Olympians and withdrawn its association with Dow Chemicals," said the letter signed by Rahul Bhatnagar, joint secretary in the Ministry.

The ministry said the IOC should cancel the sponsorship deal for the sake of the ideals of human rights as thousands had lost their lives in the tragedy and several more continue to suffer the after-effects.

"The Government of India would therefore strongly urge the IOC to go beyond lesser considerations and in the larger interest of the ideals of human rights, compassion and solidarity, immediately take steps to cancel the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals for the London Olympics thereby apart from assuaging the feelings of millions of people, send a strong message to the world over, for upholding the noble ideals of the Olympic Movement," the Ministry`s letter said.