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Evgeni Plushenko faces backlash

Updated: February 14, 2014, 10:39 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

SOCHI, Russia -- Four days after being praised as a hero for helping Russia win its first gold at the Sochi Olympics, Evgeni Plushenko on Friday was taking criticism for dropping out of the men's figure skating.

Plushenko's strong performance in the team event brought wide accolades for his determination to overcome injury. But on Thursday he withdrew before the men's short program, complaining of severe spinal pain during the warmup.

Plushenko was Russia's only men singles ...

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