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Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Denial comes with terse letter from ISU

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- The International Skating Union, already facing enough problems with judging controversies, denied it had another one by rejecting Wednesday a protest of the ice dancing results filed by Lithuania.

Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas questioned how they could finish fifth in the free dance program when the two teams that finished ahead of them fell, and they didn't. They insist their complaint wasn't to get a medal, only to expose judging inconsistencies.

John Domanskis, a spokesman for the Lithuanian Olympic team, said the ISU's response "was very terse, one sentence. It said, `The judging was fair."'

"Maybe we made our point in some way," he said. "I don't think we're going to pursue it any further. Hopefully we've made a difference for future athletes."

Domanskis said the ice dancers, who are married, accepted the ruling.

"They're fine," he said. "They weren't expecting miracles, but they were hoping for something better than this."

The ISU is already investigating the scandal last week that resulted in the suspension of a French judge and a second set of gold medals for Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.