Figure skating: Plushenko sues TV commentator for defamation

Figure skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko has launched legal action for defamation against a Russian commentator for Eurosport for claiming that a recent operation was only a public relations stunt, his lawyer said Monday.

Plushenko is suing the pan-European channel's Russian language commentator Andrei Zhurankov, the 2006 Olympic champion's lawyer Tatiana Akimtseva told RIA-Novosti news agency.

"Yevgeny made an official request to the police demanding to make the Eurosport commentator Zhurankov responsible for defamation," she said.

"He presented the evidence that all of Zhurankov's statements were nothing other than lies and slander."

The lawyer added that Zhurankov has still issued no apologies to Plushenko while the Interfax news agency said that police were already carrying out an initial check.

Three-time world champion and seven-time European champion Plushenko underwent spinal surgery on January 31.

He effectively retired from competition after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but returned to the amateur circuit last year and won his 10th national title in December.

Last month Plushenko, 30, failed to win his eighth European title when he was forced to retire in Zagreb with a back injury, which forced him to undergo surgery in Israel on an intervertebral disc.