New Delhi, Mar 2 (ANI): Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Vijay Kumar Malhotra on Friday denied media reports suggesting that India might be boycotting the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Speaking to journalists after an executive board meeting of the body in New Delhi, Malhotra countered the media speculation.
"Yesterday the news of the IOA officials boycotting the opening and closing ceremony of the London Games was rampant in the media. This issue was part of the discussions in the executive board meeting but the IOA has not taken any decision about that at the moment. No such decision was taken. We have written three to four letters to the government but we are still awaiting their reply. We hope the government replies to them," said Malhotra.
After large scale protests by social activists and Bhopal gas tragedy victims demanding removal of Dow Chemicals from sponsorship of 2012 London Olympics, the IOA had demanded that London games organising committee to terminate its deal with US-based Dow Chemicals due to its links to the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.
Dow is expected to provide a decorative wrap for London's Olympic stadium despite continuing criticism of its involvement.
Speaking in support of Indian athletes, IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh said the controversy should not hinder their path to the London Games.
"There are four and a half months left for the Games to start and the time is now that the Indian athletes are training. We are very proud of the fact that hockey has qualified, we have 45 people who have qualified for the Olympic Games and I think we should not create any controversy, which harms their performance in the Olympic Games," said Singh.
Dow denies any responsibility for the accident that activists say killed up to 25,000 people in the aftermath of the leak at a pesticides factory then owned by Union Carbide India Limited, a subsidiary of Union Carbide.
The IOA also discussed the future of tainted president Suresh Kalmadi, who was recently released from prison on bail after facing charges of corruption during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Kalmadi had recently written to Malhotra saying he would not participate in the functioning of the IOA nor exercise his authority.
"This clarifies the position. When he says 'I will not represent the IOA anywhere, I am not asserting my rights as IOA President, I will not make any obligation or authority or rights,' I think that clarifies it," Malhotra added.
Malhotra was retained as the body's acting President at the meeting. (ANI)
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