Fenland heptathlete Hazel speaks out after Russian pole vault champion Isinbayeva defends homophobic policies

Louise Hazel with her Commonwealth Gold Medal

Louise Hazel with her Commonwealth Gold Medal - Credit: Archant

FENLAND heptathlete Louise Hazel has called for one of the world’s most famous athletes’ role as a Youth Olympics ambassador to be reviewed after she spoke out against homosexuality.

Hazel, of March, the 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion, admonished Yelena Isinbayeva after the world pole vault champion criticised athletes competing at the World Championships in Moscow for supporting gay rights.

Isinbayeva also defended a controversial Russian law that makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to under-18s.

The Russian athlete said: “We just live with boys with women, women with boys.

“We never had these problems in Russia and we don’t want to have any in the future.”

Hazel says Isinbayeva’s comments have undermined her position as an ambassador.

She said: “I think it’s really important that there’s a review of what she’s said and that the IOC really look and question whether that is in line with their values and their beliefs.

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“A role model is somebody we can look to for inspiration and also to imitate.

“You’re not supposed to exclude anyone and that’s what she’s done in making these comments.

“I would be worried if my children or the next generation of athletes were looking to Isinbayeva and thinking that these comments are acceptable. Quite simply, I don’t think they are.

“They’re sending the message that discrimination is OK and it quite clearly is not in this day and age.

“I just don’t feel that it’s in keeping with the spirit of sport in general and the all-encompassing, all inclusive values of the Olympic Games.”

Isinbayeva was appointed a Youth Olympics ambassador by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2010.

She was described at the time by IOC president Jacques Rogge as “a true role model for young people”.

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