Isinbayeva Says Comments on Anti-Gay Law 'Misunderstood'

Legendary pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva said she is against discrimination based on sexuality and her previous comments about Russia's gay propaganda law were misunderstood because she was speaking English, which is not her native language.

"What I wanted to say was that people should respect the laws of other countries particularly when they are guests," she said in a statement Friday.

Comments made to reporters before accepting her third world championship gold medal on Thursday led to calls for the International Olympic Committee to reconsider her role as a Youth Olympics ambassador.

The IOC will review the statements made by the Russian athlete, BBC Russia reported.

At the world championship press conference in Moscow Isinbayeva said she was not against gay people, but added that "if we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid for our country."

Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer competed at the world championships with their fingernails painted rainbow as a sign of supporting the gay community, actions Isinbayeva called "unrespectful."

"We have our law which everyone has to respect. When we go to different countries, we try to follow their rules. We are not trying to set our rules over there. We are just trying to be respectful," the athlete said.

Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer competed with their fingernails painted rainbow as a sign of supporting the gay community, actions Isinbayeva called "unrespectful."

She is also slated to be "mayor" of the Olympic Village in Sochi during the Winter Olympics in February.

Isinbayeva was appointed a Youth Olympic Games Ambassador in 2010.


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