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ISU clears Plushenko to compete at Europeans

Three-time Olympic medalist to go for seventh title at event

Evgeni Plushenko will make his next competitive appearance in Sheffield, Great Britain.
Evgeni Plushenko will make his next competitive appearance in Sheffield, Great Britain. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(01/03/2012) - Evgeni Plushenko, who won his ninth Russian title last week in his first competitive appearance since placing second at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, has been allowed to compete at the 2012 European Figure Skating Championships by the International Skating Union (ISU) despite not meeting minimum score requirements.

A post on the ISU's website reads:

The ISU received a specific request from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia pointing out that the skater Evgeny Plushenko was unable, for different reasons, to obtain the required minimum score in an International Competition during the ongoing and past season. Based on this request and also noting that Evgeny Plushenko has recently returned to competitive skating by winning the Russian National Championships at the end of December 2011, the ISU Council exceptionally agreed to accept the entry of Evgeny Plushenko into the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 in Sheffield/Great Britain. This exceptional decision is valid for the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2012 only.

In order to compete at any one of the European Championships, Four Continents Championships and World Championships, a men's skater must achieve a minimum technical score in an ISU-recognized competition of 20 points for the short program and 35 points for the free skate. Plushenko's technical scores at the 2012 Russian Championships, which is not a sanctioned ISU competition, were 42.30 in the short and 77.77 in the free skate.

Plushenko has won the European title on six occasions, tying him with Austria's Willy Böckl for the third most all-time.

Plushenko has stated his balky knee will require additional surgery after Europeans, putting in doubt his status for worlds.