Olympics official resigns over Dow deal

A prominent member of the board which oversees the sustainability efforts for the 2012 London Olympics has quit in protest of Dow Chemical’s sponsorship links to this year’s Games.

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Meredith Alexander, who is head of trade and corporates at the charity ActionAid, told the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 that she could no longer remain in the unpaid post given the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) refusal to end it’s association with the American company.

The chemical giant’s involvement in this year’s games has angered human rights groups because of its ties to Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, which killed 25,000 people.

In a statement Alexander explains that “people should be free to enjoy London 2012 without this toxic legacy on their conscience.”

“I don’t want to be party to a defense of Dow Chemicals, the company responsible for one of the worst corporate human rights violations in my generation.”

Alexander’s resignation was welcomed by human rights group, Amnesty International, who said the London 2012 Olympic organizers must admit their mistake in awarding the £7m contract to the chemical company.

The announcement come after Dow Chemicals, defended its deal with Locog after saying that aall liabilities for the disaster were resolved after Union Carbide settled with the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470 (£299) million to the Bhopal victims.

The company, which is a sponsor of both the London Games and the International Olympic Committee, paid for the stadium’s hi-tech wrap, but agreed to not put its logo on the decoration in December.

The move follows protests in India last month over the sponsorship deal.

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