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Adelina Sotnikova named European Championships alternate


Adelina Sotnikova of Russia arrives for a news conference after she won the women’s free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Sotnikova placed first, followed by Kim and Kostner. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova was named an alternate for Russia’s team for next month’s European Championships, putting her chances of competing at the World Championships -- or anywhere -- later this season in doubt.

Sotnikova, who in Sochi became the first woman to win Olympic gold with zero World Championships medals, has not performed in top-level international competition since the Winter Games.

She pulled out of her two Grand Prix series assignments this fall and last week’s Russian Championships after tearing an ankle ligament in early November.

The Russian team for the European Championships -- Jan. 29-31 in Stockholm -- includes the gold and silver medalists from the Russian Championships, Yelena Radionova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, as well as Anna Pogorilaya, who finished fourth at last season’s Worlds.

Sotnikova, one of three alternates, will have a test skate on Jan. 15, after which a final decision on the European Championships will be made, according to figure skating reporter Tatjana Flade.

Olympic pairs champions Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov were also named alternates for Europeans. They missed the Grand Prix season and Russian Championships after Trankov suffered a shoulder injury.

Yulia Lipnitskaya, the star of the Sochi Olympic team event, finished ninth at the Russian Championships, capping a disappointing season.

The three-woman Russian team for the World Championships in March is expected to be named after Europeans.

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