British prime minister David Cameron has refused to drop Dow Chemical as a sponsor of the London Olympics this year and said he would be “very sad” if India boycotts the event over the issue.
Cameron described Dow Chemical as a "reputable company" and that he did not want to see the Olympics used for industrial or political purposes.
The sports ministry had asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to drop Dow as a sponsor. Dow currently owns Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984. The IOC had refused to entertain pleas by the Indian Olympic Association on the matter.
“I am wanting to see the Olympics not used for industrial or political or other purposes... that I cannot see a problem with the IOC being sponsored by Dow. I think it followed perfectly reasonable processes. Therefore, I cannot complain about Dow sponsoring the London Olympics,” Cameron told Karan Thapar in an interview on CNN-IBN .
Cameron said he felt “huge sympathy” for those killed in the Bhopal disaster but insisted that boycotting the Olympics would not be the “right action”.
“I would be very sad,” Cameron said when asked about the possibility of India boycotting the event.