Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro came fifth in the finals on Saturday sporting red nail varnish instead of the rainbow emblem following an IAAF intervention. Kajsa Bergqvist had spoken out in support of the protest. Photo: Scanpix

Swedish critic of Russian gay law silenced

A Swedish athlete who is openly critical of Russia’s anti-gay legislation will not be allowed to hold a press conference at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on Sunday, reports Expressen newspaper.

Kajsa Bergqvist, a former high jumper, is at the championships as an ambassador for the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF). She spoke out last week against the recently introduced Russian ban on homosexual “propaganda” and had scheduled a press conference for Sunday which has been cancelled by the IAFF, according to Expressen.

“It is terrible. It is frightening the direction that politics is going and the rhetoric that is used. I had quite a few hesitations about coming here,” Berqvist told reporters last week.

Bergqvist was expected to be questioned at the press conference today on the fallout surrounding last week’s protests by Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer who painted their fingernails in the rainbow emblem of the gay pride movement.

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