The president of the International Olympic Committee has criticized Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko for his behavior after Thursday's men's free skating competition at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Plushenko, 27, won the Olympic silver medal in the men's free skating, beat out by the U.S.'s Evan Lysacek who took the gold medal. He disagreed with the result, saying he should have been given the gold. He did not want to take part in the traditional victory lap and hurried to remove the silver medal from his neck.
"He [Plushenko] should respect his competitors, which I think he does. He has probably pronounced some words in the emotion of disappointment, but definitely he has to respect his opponents, of course," the Los Angeles Times quoted Jacques Rogge as saying Saturday.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier that Plushenko's silver medal is "worth gold," while many fans and sports commentators supported Plushenko as well.
"I think he was very disappointed, obviously, and some times in disappointment, you express things you wouldn't express at another time," Rogge also said.
Plushenko called Lysacek's performance "a dance" rather than "men's skating." He also said it "raises questions when a person performs a quadruple jump, which is contested by a triple, and [both contenders] gain the same points."
"If that is the case, it is ill-advised, of course," Rogge said.
Experts say Plushenko received silver because a new system of judgment is in effect in figure skating, and that it fails to properly take into account complicated elements performed by skaters.
The former Olympic and three-time world champion returned to the ice late last year after a self-imposed retirement from competitive skating following his stunning performance in Turin in 2006.
He easily won an international Moscow cup in October and the Russian national championship in December. He also triumphed at last month's European Championships.
MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)