India May Skip The 2012 Olympic Games Over Sponsor Dispute
The protests against Dow's Olympic sponsorship have escalated significantly in recent weeks to the point where the Indian Olympic Association has announced that it will hold a vote on December 5th to decide whether or not to boycott the London Olympic Games. Dow acquired the firm in 2011 that was behind the Bhopal gas disaster which killed thousands in 1984. In addition to being an IOC TOP sponsor, Dow has negotiated a deal to provide the fabric wrap for the main Olympic stadium.
“Many Olympic athletes have expressed concern about it and they are upset that Dow is sponsoring the London Olympics and they want to boycott,” V K Malhotra, the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association told The Telegraph. “We will be meeting in 10 days to sit down together and decide what to do.”
So far the Olympic committee has stood behind their decision to accept Dow's involvement.
“It is disappointing and misguided that some people are trying to assign blame and responsibility to Dow,” LOCOG chairman Lord Sebastien Coe said.
During the course of its sponsorship, Dow has said the Olympics will create an additional $1 billion in revenue, but could it cause the world's second largest nation to really skip the 2012 Olympic Games? The IOC, with whom Dow holds the approximately $200 million sponsorship agreement through 2020, maintains that would be a counterproductive move.
According to the Financial Times, the IOC said it would “of course oppose a boycott, as ultimately the only people hurt by actions like these would be the athletes themselves”