Evgeni Plushenko cleared to compete

MOSCOW -- Former Olympic champion figure skater Evgeni Plushenko of Russia has had his amateur status restored, clearing him to compete at the 2014 Games in his home country.

The International Skating Union on Sunday approved an appeal by the Russian figure skating federation to restore Plushenko's amateur status, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

The ISU stripped the 2006 Olympic champion of eligibility in August. After finishing second to Evan Lysacek at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Plushenko skipped the following world championships because of injury, but soon appeared in a couple of exhibition events without the federation's permission. He apologized to the federation in April.

Plushenko, who is recovering from a knee operation in Germany, sent a message Sunday to his fans on Twitter.

"I underwent knee surgery and had my meniscus cut a bit," he wrote. "And the good news is that I can compete now. I'll be back on track in two weeks."

The three-time world champion Plushenko, who also won silver at the 2002 Olympics, will be 31 when the 2014 Winter Games are held in Sochi.