Skater Plushenko hits back after Israeli surgery questioned
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Skater Plushenko hits back after Israeli surgery questioned

TV commentator faces libel suit after questioning whether Russian figure-skater underwent surgery

Evgeny Plushenko (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Evgeny Plushenko (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian figure-skating star Evgeny Plushenko wants a television commentator to be charged with libel after expressing doubts about reports that the 2006 Olympic champion underwent spinal surgery.

The 30-year-old Plushenko has vowed to seek another medal at next year’s Sochi Olympics in his home country, but has been plagued by injuries.

Plushenko withdrew from last month’s European Championships, and coach Alexei Mishin later said he had disc-replacement surgery in Israel.

Some Israeli media questioned that claim, saying no patients named Plushenko could be found at local hospitals. During a weekend broadcast of the Four Continents tournament, Eurosport commentator Andrei Zhurankov noted the reports and said he suspected there was no operation.

Plushenko’s attorney Tatyana Akimtseva told the Russian legal news agency RAPSI that a libel complaint against Zhurankov was filed Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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