Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he treated the decision of figure skater Yevgeny Plyushenko to withdraw from the Olympics with understanding and that he praised him for his performance in the team championship, which brought Russia its first gold medal in Sochi.

"Indeed, he [Plyushenko] has a serious health issue - he has had several surgeries," the president said.

Putin went to the American house in the Olympic park on Friday and discussed the latest Olympic news with U.S. sports officials.

The entire U.S. delegation was very disappointed they would not see Plyushenko at Sochi, member of the International Olympic Committee Larry Probst said.

"He {Plyushenko] has performed in team championships and shown great results," Putin said.

The United States has "a wonderful dance couple as well," the president said. "Though the coach is ours," Putin said.

Figure skater Plushenko withdraws from Olympic competition

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