Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro, who appeared in her Olympic qualifier wearing rainbow-colored nails in support of gay rights, has repainted them after being issued a warning from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The governing body of track and field said the nail color is in violation of the code of conduct at the world championships in Moscow.
Anders Albertsson, general secretary of the Swedish athletics federation, said Green-Tregaro repainted her nails before Saturday’s final.
“We have been informally approached by the IAAF saying that this is by definition, a breach of the regulations. We have informed our athletes about this,” Albertsson said. “The code of conduct clearly states the rules do not allow any commercial or political statements during the competition.”
Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian pole vault gold medalist criticized Green-Tregaro for being “unrespectful” to Russia by painting her nails the colors of the rainbow flag. She later played down the anti-gay remarks, saying that they were “misunderstood.”
In June, Russia passed a ban on “homosexual propaganda.” While Russian officials say that only people who promote homosexuality to young people need worry about being arrested, they haven’t explained just what law enforcement considers to me “homosexual propaganda.” Americans have speculated that people could be arrested in Russia simply for same-sex public display of affection.
The U.S. Olympic Committee instructed American athletes this week to comply with Russia’s anti-gay law.
“The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country. They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun told Rianovosti in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit. This law is no different.”