The news, first reported by Russian news agency TASS earlier this week, means the 18-year-old will have spent more than a year out of competitive skating by the time she returns – if she does.
Zagitova will definitely miss the Russian national championships in December, the federation said. That event acts as an internal qualifier for the European Championships, scheduled to be held in Zagreb, Croatia, in January. It is also a selection event for Russia’s World Championships team. Zagitova could be given a wildcard selection for that event, which is set to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, in March - but this would be highly unlikely. .
"I am very interested at the moment to try myself in a new role," she said then, referring to her hosting duties on Ice Age.
That meant sitting out of the domestic Cup of Russia series, itself a qualifying event for the national championships.
The latest extension of Zagitova’s break will renew doubts about whether the skater will ever make a competitive comeback.
In the past 36 years, only two reigning Olympic champions have competed in the subsequent Games: Katarina Witt of East Germany, who successfully defended her Olympic title from Sarajevo 1984 at Calgary 1988; and South Korea’s Yuna Kim, who followed Vancouver 2010 gold with a silver medal at Sochi 2014.