By Emily Goddard

Yevgeny_Plushenko_13-06-11June 13 - Russia's three-time world champion figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko had his amateur status restored by the International Skating Union (ISU), giving him the green light for the 2014 Winter Olympics in his home country.

"The ISU Council decided to restore Plushenko's amateur status today," said Russian Skating Federation executive director Valentin Piseyev.

"It was their unanimous decision."

Last year, the 2006 Olympic gold medallist lost his eligibility to skate at the Sochi Games after the ISU punished him for skating in exhibitions without permission.

The 28-year-old, who also won Olympic silver at the Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010, had pulled out of the 2010 World Championship citing a knee injury but then skated in exhibitions without the authorisation of the ISU.

He was banned in June and did not appeal within the 21 days allowed so the ISU confirmed they were upholding their decision.

Earlier this year Plushenko wrote a letter through the Russian Figure Skating Federation asking the ISU to reinstate him as an active amateur sportsman.

Plushenko has a long history of knee problems but ended a three-year retirement to skate at Vancouver where he took silver behind American Evan Lysacek.

Despite his health problems the skater from St Petersburg has expressed his hope of recapturing his Olympic men's title at his home Games in Sochi when he would be 31-years-old.

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