IOA to protest Dow Olympic association

New Delhi: Amid growing resentment over Dow Chemicals` association with the London Olympics, the IOA`s Executive Board today decided to write a "strong" protest letter to the IOC, seeking the removal of the company as a sponsor of the Games next year.

IOA Executive Board met here this morning to discuss the matter and has now left it to its General Body to take a final decision on the vexed issue.

"We will write a strong letter to IOC about the Dow Chemicals association with the Olympic Games. It will convey the strong sentiments of the Indian people in this regard. The executive has also decided to discuss the issue and leave it to the IOA General Body," a top IOA source said after the meeting here.

The Board, however, is not in favour a boycott of the Games.

"The members are not in favour of a boycott of the Games as it would be unfair on the athletes and go against the spirit of the Olympic movement. The Executive also discussed the Sports Ministry`s letter asking it to disassociate itself from Dow Chemicals," the source said.

The IOA`s AGM will start later in the day and will continue tomorrow. An official press conference is scheduled for tomorrow.

The Executive also discussed the Sports Ministry`s letter which had told the IOA to covey the Indian resentment to the IOC over a company linked with Union Carbide, which was responsible for the death of thousands in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

Earlier, IOA Acting President V K Malhotra had demanded Dow`s removal as an Olympic sponsor.

"Olympics are about love, brotherhood and transparency and this company (Dow) is linked with another which was responsible for killing thousands of Indian people. It`s unacceptable that such a company is a sponsor in the Olympics.

So we will ask the London organisers to remove the company from being a sponsor," Malhotra had said.