Concerns about Olympic stadium wrap and the Bhopal link
Summary of story from The Guardian, November 15, 2011
There is growing unease among members of the UK parliament (MPs) and various athletes about a London 2012 Olympic sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals involving the wrap that will cover the Olympic stadium.
Dow Chemical bought out Union Carbide, the owner of the Bhopal plant where a gas leak in 1984 claimed around 20,000 lives and is alleged to have caused a further 120,000 injuries.
The announcement that the company would sponsor the 1km wrap that will cover the £496m stadium in 2012 was ‘slipped out’ in the summer.
At a committee meeting earlier this week, the only time that organisers Sebastian Coe and Paul Deighton appeared remotely rocked was when MPs talked about ‘the Dow deal’.
Conservative MP Louise Mensch said she was impressed with progress so far but was “very worried” about the deal.
Coe has repeated Dow’s own position – that it did not own the plant at the time of the disaster and that a $470m (£300m) settlement has been twice upheld by the Indian supreme court.
That might be true in law but, as Coe and Deighton must be well aware, it may not count for much in the court of public opinion, and concerns so far have been voiced by 24 MPs and 21 Indian former Olympians.
The Labour MP Steve Rotheram asked Deighton whether a replacement could be found and said Dow should do the “honourable thing” and withdraw.