Organisers of the London Olympics were on Friday embroiled in a fresh row after Meredith Alexander, the environmentalist who resigned from its ethics panel over Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the Games, denied official claims that she was a party to the contentious decision to award the £7 million contract to Dow for a decorative wrap for the Olympics stadium.
An angry Ms. Alexander told The Hindu that she “absolutely” did not sign off on the deal as claimed by Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
On the contrary, she said, she felt compelled to quit the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 because her concerns were not addressed.
Reacting to Mr. Deighton's statement that she was “one of 12 people [on the Commission] who signed off on our process for choosing Dow to provide the wrap,” Ms. Alexander said: “I absolutely did not sign off on the decision to award the wrap to Dow Chemical. The Commission was asked to look at the decision. At that point I highlighted Dow's responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy, which saw over 20,000 people die in the aftermath. I provided extensive information from the Amnesty International conclusively proving that Dow is responsible for the tragedy and must now provide justice. Despite this extensive evidence, a public statement of support was issued for the LOCOG's decision. I did not see or sign off on this statement.”
She said that there was growing support for the stand she had taken and she did not rule out more resignations.
Ms. Alexander said that she would like to meet the London Mayor Boris Johnson who had appointed her to the Commission in 2010.
“I would welcome the opportunity to meet to discuss my resignation with Boris Johnson in person. It would be great to have a chance to put my concerns to him in person. I want to understand how he feels about the fact that the toxic legacy of Dow Chemical is now a stain on the conscience of Londoners,” she said. Mr. Johnson called her decision “sad” and said he hoped “very much that she could be made to think again.”