Yesterday, word was out that the International Skating Union has taken away Evgeny Plushenko's ISU competition eligibility because he skated exhibitions without getting permission from his skating federation. From the Associated Press:
Plushenko withdrew from the world championships March 22-27 in Turin, Italy, after experiencing pain while landing a quadruple jump. But he skated in two exhibitions the following week, putting him in conflict with the ISU's eligibility rules.
ISU rules are designed to prevent skaters from claiming injuries in withdrawing from the world championships — or other major events — and then turning around and skating in moneymaking shows or exhibitions. Skaters are allowed to perform in events not sanctioned by the ISU, but only if they've been given permission by their national federations.
This seems like a pretty rookie mistake for the 28-year-old three-time Olympian to have made. Plushenko has a few weeks to appeal the decision. Could Plushenko have truly been naive enough to think the exhibitions would not matter? He has publicly expressed interest in competing at Sochi (and I'm sure there is loads of pressure on him to pursue a spot there because he is the biggest current Russian skating star), but if he really wanted to compete there, wouldn't he have been particularly careful about situations like this? Or maybe his arrogance has caught up with him? I don't know.