High jumper Green Tregaro painted her nails to support gay rights, a move criticised by pole vaulter Isinbayeva. Photo: Scanpix Collage: Swedish Radio

Isinbayeva cancels Stockholm appearance

The Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva who had criticized a Swedish protest against the anti-gay law will not be appearing at the DN Gala in Stockholm.

After taking gold at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Isinbayeva had said she would be competing at the sports event organised by newspaper Dagens Nyheter next week.

But Isinbayeva later spoke out against Swedish athletes who painted their nails rainbow colours. The Swedes wanted to show their support of "all love", in opposition to the new Russian law that bans "gay propaganda" to children. The Russian star said that this protest was "disrespectful to our country".

Now, a spokesman for newspaper DN says Isinbayeva has cancelled her appearance at their gala, via her agent. The Russian is reportedly overwhelmed by all the attention she is currently getting.

News agency AFP reports on a new statement from Isinbayeva, in which she says she was "opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality," and that she may have been misunderstood, since English is not her first language.

It is so far unclear whether Isinbayeva will take part in a Zürich athletics event on August 29th.

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