Other Sports

Union Sports Ministry and IOA concerned over Dow Chemicals link with Olympics

Ajay Maken, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports.   | Photo Credit: V_V_Krishnan

The Union Sports Ministry has written a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) asking it to lodge a protest against the Dow Chemicals sponsorship of the London Olympics with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Dow Chemicals, the owner of the Union Carbide, whose plant was responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, had signed a sponsorship deal with IOC in July 2010 to support the Olympic Movement worldwide till 2020.

The Union Sports Minister, Ajay Maken, said on Monday that IOA was the competent authority to deliberate with the IOC on this issue.

“We have written to the IOA saying that they take up the matter with IOC. The IOA should keep in mind the sensitivity around this issue in India and especially in Bhopal,” said Mr. Maken.

No need to boycott

The Sports Minister said the IOA should make an effort to end the sponsorship. He, however, did not feel the need for India to boycott the London Olympics and wanted the IOA to strongly take up the issue at the highest level.

In his response, the IOA acting President, V.K. Malhotra, said his organisation would convey the concerns of the Bhopal gas victims and Olympians, NGOs and the Government to the authorities concerned.

“We will discuss this issue in our Executive Board and General Body Meeting on December 15. We will try to make Games organisers aware of the feeling of the people who have suffered due to that tragedy.

“It is not only the Indians who are protesting this sponsorship, there has been an outcry against this world over from various NGOs and other bodies, it is no longer a local issue,” said Mr. Malhotra in a statement.

“We understand the feelings of the players, government and the NGOs. We will discuss it seriously and see what we can do at our level,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maken backed the draft sports bill and reiterated his Ministry's strong will to bring in transparency and good governance in various sports bodies.

No bias

He said his ministry was not biased against any particular sport.

The Minister also stressed the inclusion of sports in school curriculum and said the proposal would be pursued with the Human Resource Ministry.

The Sports Ministry would come out with a concrete policy proposal regarding this sooner than later.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:52:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/union-sports-ministry-and-ioa-concerned-over-dow-chemicals-link-with-olympics/article2690014.ece

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