‘Dow’s involvement in Olympics has not hit relations with India’

Vidya Ram London | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 13, 2012

Mr Sebastian Coe

Dow Chemical’s involvement in the forthcoming Olympic Games hasn’t damaged relations with India, the London Olympics’ chief insisted on Friday.

“I don’t for one minute underestimate the strength of feeling and the magnitude of the human tragedy that was Bhopal, but these are two very different issues and I’m absolutely convinced that the relations I’ve enjoyed with the nation and politicians of all political parties are as strong and robust as ever,” said Mr Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Kalmadi decision

Asked whether the CWC Organising Committee Chairman, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, would be invited to the Games, following the decision by the Delhi court to allow him to go the Games, Mr Coe said it was “entirely up to the Indian Olympic Committee. We don’t issue invitations on behalf of national Olympic Committees that is a matter for India.” Dow’s involvement in the Games — both as one of the International Olympic Committee’s top sponsors up till 2020 and as a provider of a “wrap” for the main stadium — has generated controversy and protest. Earlier this year, the Indian Government wrote to the IOC urging it to cancel the sponsorship of the Games.

This week, the London Assembly — an elected body that helps the city’s mayor administer the city — condemned Dow’s role as a sponsor and called on LOCOG to press the IOC to pay greater heed to the match between its partners and sponsors and the Olympic Charter. It warned that Dow’s involvement had “caused damage to the reputation” of the Games.

The city is in the midst of final preparations for the Games: the athletes’ village which will house some 16,000 athletes and team officials during the Games will open on Monday, ahead of the Opening Ceremony on the 27th of July. Concerns about security for the Games have come to the forefront once again after it emerged that G4S, the provider of security for the Games, will not be able to deliver on the numbers of staff for the Games it had promised to, forcing the Government to bring in an additional 3,500 troops, taking the total armed forces taking part for security to 17,000.

However, security would not overshadow the Games, insisted Mr Coe. “We are going to deliver a safe and secure sporting event.”

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Published on July 13, 2012
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