Ukraine’s Olympic Committee also denounced Petrenko’s behavior, saying it was “unacceptable” to perform “on the territory of the aggressor country, which is waging a brutal war against Ukraine.”
On Monday, Petrenko, 53, did not respond to a request for comment. His daughter, Victoria, who lives in New York, said she was at work and unable to speak with a reporter.
Galina Zmievskaya, who coached Petrenko to his gold medal and now teaches skating in Hackensack, N.J., also did not respond to a request for comment.
Anastasiya Makarova, the general secretary of Ukraine’s figure skating association, said in a WhatsApp message Monday that Petrenko wrote a letter to officials on June 21, before he skated in Russia, saying that he wanted to leave the federation.
Petrenko explained in the letter that he was spending most of his time outside Ukraine while conducting his professional skating activities, Makarova said. Petrenko spends much of his time coaching and performing in ice shows across Europe. Skating, like the rest of life in Ukraine, has been disrupted by the war.