That is so ugly:
" During the 2013 Russian championships in December Pluschenko won only the second place, the first time in fifteen years. He lost to Maxim Kovtun, eighteen-year-pimple-boy. The compound could nominate to participate in the Olympics only one of them, it seemed, therefore, that dream of Pluszczenko was in ruins.
But how is it - the Olympics in Russia without the most popular winter sports representative of this country? Something like that activists did not dare to do. They asked Yevgeny Pluszczenko to take part in the test behind closed doors were He shows quadruple jumps. He passed the exam and was admitted to the Olympics in Sochi where Russian Champion Kovtunov was eliminated ".
- Many thought that is I am already finished. They thought would be the new king. But no and I am still - says Evgeny Pluszczenko.
Basically, this is not the full story. The key moment was that, after beating Plushenko at the national champ, Kovtun has failed the ECh (very low, I think he didn't get into first ten), which created a ground of his dismissal. Plushenko, in turn, is always sick and is in permanent recovery so this gave him some excuse. His reputation did the job here. It is indeed weird and Plushenko is indeed old and sick but the mere possibility of flying past first ten (let alone the pedestal) sounds to me like a good excuse.