The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday decided to lodge a strong protest over Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the London Olympics to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the London Games Organising Committee.

The members of the IOA, in informal discussions, also rejected the idea of boycotting the London Games.

Government's call

However, IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra told reporters, “We did not discuss about boycott. It is for the Government to take a decision on this. We will write to the Government, saying that it is a sensitive issue and tell us what actions to take.”

It was decided that if necessary a delegation would go to the IOC headquarters and London to convey IOA's stand. Malhotra would take a final decision on this.

Pressure had been building up in the country over Dow's association with the London Games. Dow is the owner of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Union Sports Ministry had written two letters to the IOA asking it to convey to the IOC its concern over the sponsorship. Several people and groups had also conveyed their resentment against the deal.

Meanwhile, the meetings of the executive council and general body of the IOA rejected the proposed National Sports Development bill formulated by the Union Sports Ministry.

It may be recalled that 44 federations had written to the Sports Ministry in recent months accepting the Government guidelines including the tenure and age limit of office-bearers.

The AGM also rejected the new constitution approved at the general body meeting at Ranchi last February when it came up for ratification. The amendments carried out at Ranchi had attempted to dilute the voting strength of the state Olympic associations.


At Thursday's meeting, the state Olympic associations protested the move to curtail their powers while several federations also objected to the amendments.

The IOC had approved the amended IOA constitution shortly after the Ranchi meeting. The meeting also declared as null and void the formations of all committees and commissions since the Ranchi meeting, including the Ethics Commission and the Arbitration Commission.

The AGM ruled that Malhotra was not authorised to form these panels. However, the meeting authorised the IOA acting president to form new panels.

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