Coe shrugs off Bhopal protest


London 2012 organisers said yesterday they would retain Dow Chemical as sponsor of an artistic wrap encircling the Olympic Stadium, despite concerns raised in India over the company's links to the Bhopal disaster.

Indian athletes wrote to the London organising committee on Monday demanding an end to the association with American company Dow, which in 2001 bought the Union Carbide factory where an estimated 15,000 people died after a poison gas leak in 1984. They said the sponsorship was "offensive to the spirit of the Olympic Games".

However, London committee chairman Sebastian Coe told a parliamentary hearing: "We are satisfied that Dow was not in ownership, operation or involved in the site at the time [of the disaster]."