The Swedish high jumper who painted her fingernails in the colours of the rainbow to campaign against anti-gay laws in Russia has been told she could be in violation of the code of conduct at the world championships.
“It felt right,” she said, also telling Reuters that she got the idea when she saw an actual rainbow over Moscow. “I wouldn’t say it was a protest more of a statement of what I think.”
“When I first came to Moscow, the first thing I saw when I opened the curtains was a rainbow over Moscow and I thought that was a pretty good sign,” she said, continuing to say that 200 meters runner Moa Hjelmer had also done the same.
Recently however, athletics officials have advised Ms Green-Tregaro not to repeat the nail-painting gesture in the world championship high-jump final at Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday.
Anders Albertsson, the general secretary of the Swedish athletics federation, spoke to reporters outside the stadium on the issue.
He said: “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.”
He added: “The code of conduct clearly states the rules do not allow any commercial or political statements during the competition.”
Mr Albertsson said the Swedish delegation had not put pressure on Ms Tregaro to change the colour of her fingernails, but “understood from Swedish media her nails are now red.”
He said: “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”.
Ms Tregaro’s painted nails also prompted Russia’s pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva to brand her “disrespectful to our country”.
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.
In an interview last week, a senior International Olympics Committee member said: “Russia must respect the Olympic Charter, or we will say goodbye to them”, broaching the question of relocating the games with the IOC for the first time.