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Friday, December 2, 2011
Evgeni Plushenko leaves politics to train

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Evgeni Plushenko, a former Olympic champion figure skater, has reportedly left politics in St. Petersburg to train for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Itar Tass news agency quoted Plushenko as saying Friday that he is leaving politics because "it is impossible to prepare for the competition while engaging in politics."

The 2006 Olympic champion and 2010 Olympic silver medalist lost his eligibility in mid-2010 after participating in exhibitions without the permission of the Russian figure skating federation.

The International Skating Union restored Plushenko's amateur status in April, clearing the way for him to compete at the 2014 Games in Russia.

Plushenko joined the pro-Kremlin Just Russia political party in 2006 and was elected to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly in 2007.