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Olympics
Rogge defends Olympic sponsor
IOC boss confident India will not boycott Games after anger over sponsor Dow Chemical's link to Bhopal Gas disaster.
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 17:36
Activists supporting victims of the Bhopal tragedy burned an effigy of IOC boss Jacques Rogge in February [EPA]

Olympics chief Jacques Rogge said on Wednesday he was confident India would not boycott the 2012 Games and gave his backing to the sponsor whose presence in London has sparked the controversy.

Calls for a boycott of the Games emerged in India after Dow Chemical, which was linked to the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster, was named as one of the Olympic sponsors.

Rogge, however, said the possibility of a boycott by India had not been mentioned during exchanges with Indian government officials.

"The Indian government made no mention of the possibility of a boycott in the exchanges we've had with them," Rogge said at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive committee meeting here Wednesday.

"And if you were to believe the Indian media, they have no intention of doing so."

Union Carbide link

India wants Dow Chemical out of the Games as it is the parent company of Union Carbide, whose pesticide plant leaked gas into the central Indian city of Bhopal in 1984, killing tens of thousands in the world's worst industrial accident.

But Rogge gave the company his backing.

"We consider that Dow Chemical played no role in the Bhopal catastrophe," he added.

"Dow bought the Union Carbide company 16 years after the tragedy. Our position is clear, we don't hold Dow responsible."

Dow Chemical, which will sponsor a fabric shroud on the main Olympic Stadium, has said all liabilities for the disaster were resolved after Union Carbide settled with the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470 million for the Bhopal victims.

Source:
AFP
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