Indian athletes will compete in London, says Lord Coe

LORD Coe revealed there was never any threat of India boycotting next year’s Olympic Games after insisting that London 2012 will not reconsider its sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical.

Some past and present Indian athletes have launched a petition against the sponsorship of the spectacle by the company which owns Union Carbide, the chemical firm responsible for the Bhopal gas leak disaster in 1984 when thousands lost their lives.

VK Malhotra, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), said the petition will be discussed next week but denied that there would be a vote on a boycott.

London 2012 chairman Coe has said Games organisers are satisfied that Dow, who are sponsoring the stadium ‘wrap’ to the tune of �7million, were not involved with the Bhopal plant at the time of the disaster or when Union Carbide made a compensation settlement.

Coe said: “I have very, very close links with the Indian national Olympic committee and I have never had any sense at all, privately or publicly, that there was any appetite for a boycott.

“The Olympic Charter was redrawn in 1983 after the Moscow Games and there is an obligation on all national Olympic Committees to attend Games.

“I certainly never had any public or private intimation from anybody that this was a boycott discussion.

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“I absolutely stand by our procurement process and Dow were by a distance the most sustainable solution to our wrap and we are comfortable with that.”

Malhotra added: “At the moment, there is no talk of a boycott. There are concerns being expressed in the country by some former Olympians and the chief minister of the state where this tragedy happened.

“The idea is to convey the concern about it and to ask them to reconsider it.”

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