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Yevgeny Plushenko pulls out of world skating championships

Silver medallist Evgeni Plushenko of Russia gives a thumbs up before the medal ceremony after the men's free skating figure skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 18, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

MILAN (Reuters) - Olympic silver medalist 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 organizers 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 criticized the judging at the Vancouver Winter Games.

The worlds, scheduled only a month after Vancouver, have already been hit by a number of pullouts.

Men’s Olympic champion Evan Lysacek of the United States has opted not to travel while China’s Vancouver pairs gold medalists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo have retired.

Reporting by Mark Meadows, Antonella Ciancio and Gennady Fyodorov, editing by Tony Jimenez