IOA voices concern over Dow sponsorship

The Indian Olympic Association will tell organisers of the 2012 London Olympics that victims of a deadly 1984 gas leak in India are strongly protesting Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the Games, the association said on Monday.

Victims say the company has failed to properly compensate those exposed to the poisonous leak from a pesticide plant in Bhopal. At the time of the accident, which killed an estimated 15,000 people, the plant was run by Union Carbide. Dow bought Union Carbide in 2001 and says legal claims stemming from the accident already have been resolved.

London organisers have said they will keep Dow Chemical as the sponsor of an $11-million artistic wrap encircling the 2012 Olympic Stadium. The U.S. company became one of London’s global sponsors last year.

On Saturday, thousands of victims blocked trains going in and out of Bhopal, in central India.

“We will try to make Games organisers aware of the feeling of the people who have suffered due to that tragedy,” acting association President Vijay Malhotra said, pledging that the issue would be discussed at a Dec. 15 meeting.

Some former Indian Olympians as well as officials have also objected to Dow’s sponsorship, and the Indian Olympic Association said it was not happy that the event should be associated with “tainted” sponsors.

Dow maintains it never owned or operated the Bhopal plant, and that legal claims regarding the leak were resolved when Union Carbide paid $470 million as compensation for those killed or injured.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 7:53:04 PM |

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