'Players will influence call on boycotting Olympics'
In the event of the International Olympic Association refusing to drop Dow Chemicals as a sponsor of the London Olympics which kicks off from July 27, it will be the athletes who will play a vital role in deciding whether India will boycott the games, Union sports minister Ajay Maken has told a television channel.
"What athletes feel will play an important role in our decision. It will have a bearing on the decision we take," Maken told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate.
The sports minister, however, emphasised that he does not want confusion in the minds of sportspersons and hence the decision to boycott or not will be taken when the appropriate time comes.
Asked what the government will do if the IOC eventually rejects its demand to drop Dow Chemicals as a sponsor, Maken said, "It is a difficult question, a very hypothetical one. We have not yet decided on this. We do have a plan, (but) why divulge the plan now?"
Apart from sponsoring the London Olympics, Dow Chemicals, the company which bought Union Carbide, has also been signed up as a worldwide partner by the IOC up to the year 2020.
Maken, however, insisted that the government has not yet decided if the Indian officials should boycott the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.
"We have not yet decided on that. I can't say anything on that. We will keep in mind the sensitivities and feelings of the Bhopal people as well as feelings of the players. We are going full steam as far as the preparations are concerned. We have put in the best coaches and the best places to train," he said.
Asked if India will boycott the Games, the sports minister said, "I would not like to say anything on that. I am still hopeful we will be able to find a solution."