Photo: Erik Mårtensson/Scanpix

No Swedish rainbow nails in athletics finals: IAAF

Update 17:30

The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) instructed Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro not to paint her nails in rainbow colours when she competed today in the finals of the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

Instead Green Tregaro competed sporting red nail varnish, reports Swedish Radio’s sports department.

“There was no talk about disqualifying her or anything. They just said that she should not have rainbow coloured nails,” said Anders Albertsson, general secretary of the Swedish Athletic Association.

The chairman of the Swedish association, Tomas Riste, confirmed media speculation that the Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer had broken IAAF rules when they carried out their protest.

The high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer painted their fingernails in the rainbow emblem of the gay pride movement while competing on Thursday, in a protest against recently introduced legislation in Russia outlawing gay “propaganda” .

Green Tregaro posted a photo of her fingernails on the Internet, saying she did it to support tolerance, reports news agency AP. It was the first overt sign among the athletes in Moscow of objection to the Russian law.

Hours later, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva said the Swede's move was disrespectful to Russia, adding that she supported the law and that Russians are "normal, standard people."

American runner Nick Symmonds then piled on - despite an earlier vow to hold his tongue while in Moscow - denouncing Russia for its "atrocities."

When she entered the arena on Saturday afternoon there was no sign from the crowd that Green Tregaro was given a different welcome because of the controversy which has made headlines around the world, according to Swedish Radio's sports department. After several faults the Swede came fifth in the finals.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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