Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva slammed gay rights and Swedish pole vaulter Emma Green Tregaro, who painted her fingernails in rainbow colors as a show of support for gay people in Russia.
According to Reuters, Green Tregaro recently posted her multi-colored fingernails on Instagram with the caption “Nails painted in the colors of the rainbow #pride #moscow2013.”
Swedish sprinter Moa Hjelmer also painted her nails in pro-gay rainbow colors.
The athletes are competing at the World Athletic Championships in Moscow.
“It’s unrespectful to our country. It’s unrespectful to our citizens because we are Russians. Maybe we are different from European people and other people from different lands. We have our home and everyone has to respect. When we arrive to different countries, we try to follow their rules," Isinbayeva told a press conference today (video below).
The two-time Olympic champion has voiced her support for new anti-gay laws in Russia that ban any "propaganda" that promotes "non-traditional" sexual practices to minors.
“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people. We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys," said Isinbayeva.
“Everything must be fine. It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future."
However, the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field competition, is allowing the athletes to paint their fingernails in the rainbow colors.
“The IAAF constitution underlines our commitment to principle of nondiscrimination in terms of religious, political or sexual orientation. Allied to this is our belief in free expression as a basic human right, which means we must respect the opinions of both Green Tregaro and Isinbayeva," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told the Associated Press.