Frozen out: Evgeni Plushenko ineligible to skate in Sochi Olympics after failure to appealBy AP
Monday, August 23, 2010
Plushenko stripped of eligibility, out of Olympics
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Evgeni Plushenko will need more than quadruple jumps to make it to the Sochi Olympics.
The Olympic gold and silver medalist has lost his eligibility after failing to appeal a June decision by the International Skating Union, which punished Plushenko for skating in exhibitions without permission from the Russian federation. Plushenko did not appeal in the allotted 21 days, and the ISU said Monday its decision was final.
The Russian is now ineligible for “any ISU activity,” the international federation said, including the Olympics, world championships and Grand Prix series.
Still, Plushenko wants to compete, his agent said. He is in Russia after spending the summer touring in Japan and will meet with his coach and federation officials to discuss his future, Ari Zakarian said.
Plushenko turns 29 in November and has a long history of knee problems. But he ended a three-year retirement to skate in Vancouver, where he won the silver medal, and then said he wanted to skate through the Sochi Games in 2014. Plushenko won the gold medal at the Turin Olympics and is also a three-time world champion.
He was included on the initial entry list for Cup of Russia when Grand Prix assignments were made in June. But Plushenko skated in two exhibitions the week after he withdrew from the worlds in March, putting him in conflict with the ISU’s eligibility rules.
ISU rules are designed to prevent skaters from claiming injuries in withdrawing from the world championships — or other major events — and then turning around and skating in moneymaking shows or exhibitions. Skaters are allowed to perform in events not sanctioned by the ISU, but only if they’ve been given permission by their national federations.
Women’s bronze medalist Joannie Rochette ran into a similar conflict over an exhibition program in tribute to her mother.
Rochette was asked to perform in her mother’s honor March 19 at “Thin Ice,” a made-for-TV show broadcast live on ABC. But the ISU initially said no because the Canadian had withdrawn from worlds, citing the physical and mental toll from her mother’s sudden death in Vancouver. The ISU eventually made an exception because of the extreme circumstances.
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