Updated: Wednesday, 19 February 2014 04:01 | By Agence France-Presse

Plushenko doesn't rule out fifth Games

Russian figure skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko said on Tuesday he did not rule out competing in a fifth Olympic Games, after announcing his retirement when he withdrew from the individual competition at Sochi 2014.

Plushenko doesn't rule out fifth Games

Russia's Yevgeny Plushenko gestures during a warm-up of the Men's Figure Skating Short Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 13, 2014 - by Adrian Dennis

Plushenko said on a prime time chat show on Russian television he wanted to prove wrong his critics, some of whom even accused him of faking injury to pull out of the competition.

The skater, 31, pulled out of the individual competition in Sochi after winning gold in the team event. But many Russian commentators believe he should have left the Games after the team competition due to his back injury.

"What I want to do is to recover completely, even if 10 more operations need to be done. Miss a few seasons, learn some quads and return to sport," he said on the Pust Govoryat (Let Them Talk) chat show.

"To prove a lot to many people who are writing things."

"I don't exclude that I will have a fifth Olympics," said Plushenko who has won medals at every Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002.

Plushenko had appeared to be clear after withdrawing from the singles competition that he was retiring from competitive skating.

However he appears also to have been stung in the last days by criticism from within the Russian skating community, including from his former teammate and rival, the 2002 Olympic gold medallist Alexei Yagudin.

Yagudin in the last day has been engaged in a high-voltage Twitter spat with Plushenko's wife and self-proclaimed number one fan Yana Rudkovskaya.

"Alexei should lead his life and I will lead mine," said Plushenko in the sometimes emotional chat show appearance.

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