Monday, June 28, 2010

ISU-1, Plushenko-0

Sanctions from the ISU (International Skating Union) came down this week on self-awarded Olympic Platinum Medalist, Evgeni Plushenko. After skating in the Vancouver Olympics, Plushenko announced he would not skate at the World Figure Skating championships due to medical reasons. An investigation done by the ISU, however, found that during the championships, Plushenko skated in an ice show without permission from the Russian Skating Federation. This is a breach of ISU rules - that were put in place to ensure the top names would find the incentive to compete there by boosting television and ticket sales.

Fans of the sport and the skater alike have voiced their opinions rather strongly as the news broke this morning, many siding with the ISU. This is not a tale of a new to the scene skater not knowing of some obscure rule, this has been set in place for many years now, and Plushenko has been a fixture on competitive ice for over three Olympic cycles.

While other skaters also took time away from Worlds after the strenuous Olympic season, only Plushenko used a medical reason and then decided to skate in a show in the weeks after competition. He did so without the approval of his federation, almost as if he were thumbing his [rather large] nose at the association that dared to give another man "his" second Olympic title.

Plushenko has 21 days to appeal the ISU's lifetime ban.

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