Reuters - Fri, 19 Mar 17:05:00 2010
Olympic silver medallist Yevgeny Plushenko has pulled out of next week's figure skating world championships because of injury.
"We've received a mail, he is injured. He will not compete," a spokeswoman for the Turin organisers said on Friday, adding the Russian may come to the event to watch.
Plushenko was examined in St Petersburg and told he should not perform strenuous exercise for at least two weeks because of trouble with his knees, president of the Russian skating federation Valentin Piseyev told local media.
"Unfortunately he will not be able to compete in Turin. His physical condition will not allow him to perform at his highest level," Piseyev said.
Former Olympic champion Plushenko heavily criticised the judging at the Vancouver Winter Games.
The worlds, scheduled only a month after Vancouver, have already been hit by a number of pull-outs.
Men's Olympic champion Evan Lysacek of the United States has opted not to travel while China's Vancouver pairs gold medallists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo have retired.