India Says It Will Not Boycott London Games Over Dow Sponsorship
India has confirmed that it "will not boycott” the '12 London Games over the sponsorship by Dow Chemical of the Olympic Stadium wrap, but there has been “further pressure on Games organizers to re-examine the deal,” according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. Indian Olympic Association acting President VK Malhotra said, “We are not boycotting Olympic Games and that is very clear on Indian Olympic Association's part. But we want to express in black and white that there has been opposition in the country with the London Games being associated with Dow Chemical. We have to take account of their sentiments." Malhotra said that he would contact the Games' organizers “about India's concerns with Dow after meeting with the Indian Ministry for Sport and leading national sports organisations.” Magnay notes the appointment of Dow as the sponsor of the wrap “has also been questioned in Britain.” One of the councils neighboring Olympic Park, Tower Hamlets, “is now set to debate a motion to demand the removal of the wrap because it does not meet the LOCOG sustainable sourcing code.” LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe last week told Parliament that the US$10.9M payment by Dow for sponsorship “had met ‘by some distance’ environmental, ethical and social points and he strongly defended the American company, despite ongoing concerns by Indian politicians and Olympic athletes” (London TELEGRAPH, 11/29).