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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 04:22 GMT

Lithuania ice dance protest rejected

The Lithuanian figure skating pair who complained about the judging in the Olympic final, have had their protest rejected by the sport's union.

In the free dance, the Lithuanian pair, Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas, finished fifth in the free dance.

"We skated better than them and nothing changed"
Drobiazko on the fallers

They have filed a protest with International Skating Union referee Alexandr Gorshkov of Russia, questioning the voting that placed the couple lower than two others who fell during the final phase of the competition.

But a spokesperson for the Lithuanian delegation confirmed that the ISU threw their complaint out.

"After the Italians fell, the judges put them before us," said Drobiazko.

"We skated better than them and nothing changed- funny sport."

Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France won the gold.

Russia's Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh took the silver, and Italy's Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio got the bronze.

Canada's Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz were fourth.

The protest came a day after ISU head Ottavio Cinquanta proposed sweeping changes to the way figure skating is scored in an attempt to eliminate judging misconduct.

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