ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Former Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia fell in the short program Thursday and then dropped out of the European figure skating championships with a back problem.
The 2006 Olympic gold medalist fell while trying to execute a triple axel and placed only sixth in the short program. He then scratched for Saturday's free skate. Plushenko said upon arrival in Zagreb this week that he had a back problem. He underwent treatment in Munich in November for a herniated disc.
After numerous injuries, Plushenko is trying to revive his career for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi at home in Russia. Plushenko is a three-time world champion and a seven-time European champion. He also has two Olympic silver medals.