Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro was asked to remove the rainbow colored paint from her fingernails before competing in the high jump finals at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow on Saturday. Green-Tregaro had painted her nails that way as a demonstration of support for Russia’s oppressed gay community.
Anders Albertsson, the general secretary of the Swedish athletic federation, addressed the issue on Saturday:
We have been informally approached by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) saying that this is by definition, a breach of the regulations. We have informed our athletes about this.
The code of conduct clearly states the rules do not allow any commercial or political statements during the competition.
If she knows she might be breaking the rules, that’s a decision she takes, we don’t have any objections on how they paint their fingernails (Reuters).
Russia’s recently passed anti-gay legislation has been a controversial cloud hanging over these IAAF World Championships, and it doesn’t look like the debate will be settle by the time the 2014 Olympics in Sochi roll around. While Obama has deemed a boycott of the upcoming Olympics unnecessary, many athletes have voiced disagreement with the Russian law.