IOA may decide on London participation under protest: Malhotra

The IOA today indicated that India may take part in the London Olympics under protest after the International Olympic Committee rejected its demand to scrap the controversial Dow Chemicals as one of the sponsors of the mega-event.

Indian Olympic Association Acting-President Vijay Kumar Malhotra ruled out London Olympics boycott but said the IOA Executive Board meeting on March 2 may decide on participation under protest.

"There is no question of an Olympic Boycott. We may decide on how we can take part under protest," Malhotra said when asked about the possibility of India participating under protest.

"The Executive Board meeting on March 2 will decide on this," he told reporters on the sidelines of the announcement of dairy giants Amul as official sponsor of India's London Olympics team.

The IOA had asked the IOC to scrap Dow Chemicals as one of the sponsors of the London Olympics on the ground that it was associated with Union Carbide whose gas plant leak led to the death of thousands in Bhopal in 1984.

The IOC, on its part, recently rejected the IOA's demand, saying Dow Chemicals could not be blamed for the gas leak disaster as it only took over Union Carbide in 2001.

The world body had also asked the IOA in three letters sent so far to act against Suresh Kalmadi and reply on the issue by March 1 but Malhotra said the national body would take a decision only on March 2.

"There was no deadline set by IOC. IOA Executive Board is meeting on March 2 to discuss on the letters," he said.

"We have replied to all the letters sent by IOC. We have also forwarded to IOC the letter sent to us by Kalmadi that he would not exercise his rights as IOA President," he added.

"Kalmadi has not resigned from his post but he has forsaken his rights. Under the IOA Constitution the senior Vice-President (Malhotra) can exercise the functions of the IOA chief," said Malhotra.

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