Lithuanian couple protest ice dance judging

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Lithuanians who finished fifth in ice dancing filed a protest Tuesday questioning the judging, adding to the growing controversy in the sport.

The protest, filed with International Skating Union referee Alexandr Gorshkov of Russia, questioned the voting that placed the couple lower than two others who fell during Monday's final phase of the competition.

"After the Italians fell, the judges put them before us," said Lithuania's Margarita Drobiazko, who with partner Povilas Vanagas were fifth in each of the phases. "We skated better than them tonight 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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