ibnlive » India

Feb 29, 2012 at 07:13pm IST

India to partially boycott London Olympics

New Delhi: India will partially boycott the 2012 London Olympics to protest against Dow Chemicals sponsoring the sports event. Indian officials will not only skip the opening and closing ceremonies, but will also boycott all official ceremonies related to the quadrennial event.

However, the athletes will participate in the opening and closing ceremonies.

Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Randhir Singh said that the IOA has not taken any decision to boycott the Games.

"IOA has not taken any such decision. We don't want the athletes to suffer. We are here for the interest of the athletes. Athletes have been training for so many years, we have not taken any such decision," said Singh.

The Indian government had on February 27 lodged a formal complaint against Dow's sponsorship of London Olympics with the Union Sports Ministry writing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Union Sports Ministry has strongly protested against Dow sponsoring the Games.

Earlier, the IOA had also written to the London Olympics organisers and the IOC, complaining against Dow Chemicals and urging them to drop it as a sponsor.

"A false campaign has been launched by the Dow Chemicals saying that matter has been settled. It is not correct. The case is still pending in the court and no final compensation has been made. It is IOA's considered opinion that Dow Chemical's should be removed as the sponsors of the Games," the letter, written by IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra to IOC President Jacques Rogge, had said.

The IOC had, however, maintained that Dow was not responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy as it had no ownership stakes in Union Carbide till 2000, adding that they appreciated the concern of the IOA for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

In a letter to IOA acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, IOC chief Jacques Rogge had said that "IOC recognises that the Bhopal tragedy in 1984 was horrific event for India and the world. The Olympic Movement sympathises with the grief of the victims' families and regrets the ongoing suffering people face in the region."