August 15 - Yelena Isinbayeva has called fellow athlete Emma Green-Tregaro "disrespectful" for painting her nails rainbow-coloured in support of the homosexual community in Russia following the law recently passed here prohibiting open expression of gay values.
"We ask everyone to be respectful to our country and our people," said the 31-year-old Russian athlete.
Isinbayeva, speaking shortly before her medal ceremony following Tuesday night's (August 13) pole vault victory at the International Association of Athletics Federations, (IAAF) World Championships, added that she did not support calls for a boycott of next year's Sochi Winter Olympics, at which she will be Mayor of the Athletes' Village, over the issue of the controversial law.
"Of course, I don't support this boycott and I'm also against this polemic," she said.
"I feel sorry that they try to involve the athletes into this problem.
"Everyone can participate, everyone can compete, but of course, we are against promoting such a relationship in the street.
"It won't be respectful to our citizen.
"We are against the publicity not against the choice of every single person.
"I support our Government."
Sweden's Green-Tregaro, who had the nails on show as she qualified for the final of the high jump on Saturday (August 17), said she had created the gesture "as a simple way of showing what I think."
She added: "When I came to Moscow the first thing I saw when I opened the curtains was a rainbow, and I think that's a pretty good sign."
Isinbayeva described the gesture as "disrespectful towards our country and our citizens"
She added: "We are Russians, maybe we are different.
"We have our law which everybody has to respect.
"When we are going to other countries, we try to follow their rules and we are not trying to set our rules in other countries.
"We ask everyone to be respectful to our country and our people.
"We consider ourselves as standard people - women live with boys, boys live with women.
"It comes from our history.
"I hope this problem will not affect the Games in Sochi."
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