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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 22:32 GMT

'Skategate' pair take a break

Olympic co-gold medalists Jamie Sale and David Pelletier have withdrawn from the upcoming World Figure Skating Championships.

In a statement, Skate Canada also said the duo may not compete at next year's event either.

The governing body claimed Sale, 24, and Pelletier, 27, lacked the time to prepare for another major competition after the "events of the last two weeks".

The Canadians finished second in the pairs competition in Salt Lake City behind Russia's Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.

But the revelation that one judge admitted being pressured about voting caused Olympic officials to award Sale and Pelletier duplicate set of gold medals.

'Disappointed'

A special medal ceremony with the two teams was held days after the competition, with the Russians keeping their golds.

Skate Canada announced Sale and Pelletier's withdrawal from the world championships in Nagano, Japan (18-24 March).

"They are disappointed they will not compete but feel they have not had the opportunity to train properly given the events of the last two weeks.

The statement added: "They have not decided at this point whether they will remain eligible for next year's events."

Valerie Marcoux, 21, and Bruno Marcotte, 27, will take their place in Nagano.


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