The International Skating Union rejected a protest by Lithuania over the fourth-place finish of its ice dancers at the World Championships in the sport's latest judging dispute.
ISU referee Courtney Jones, the referee for Friday's ice dancing free skate in Nagano, Japan, called the protest unfounded.
Lithuanian filed the protest Friday after Israelis Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski won bronze. It was Israel's first medal at the championships.
Povilas Vanagas and Margarita Drobiazko of Lithuania had beaten Chait and Sakhnovski in every major competition the past several years except October's Skate America.
Vanagas said the main reason for the protest was "to try to take care of the people living in the ISU system and taking part in the competition."
More than 30 skaters and coaches from the ice dancing event, including American champions Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev, signed a petition in favor of Lithuania's protest.
"It hurts because the people who put their names on the petition are friends of ours," Chait said. "They congratulated us after we won."
The protest comes as the ISU is trying to restore confidence following after the judging scandal at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won gold but the IOC later awarded duplicate medals to Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
The decision came after French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne told ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta she had "submitted to a certain pressure" from the French federation to vote for the Russians.
SKIING: Magdalena Forsberg completed biathlon's Grand Slam for the second straight year despite finishing eighth in her farewell race, a 12.5-kilometer mass start in Oslo, Norway. The 34-year-old Swede, the winningest biathlete, added the mass-start championship to her overall, sprint and pursuit titles. France's Raphael Poiree won the men's race and took the World Cup overall title. Strong shifting winds forced the cancellation of the ski-flying event during World Cup ski jumping in Planica, Slovenia. American Alan Alborn, who competed in early qualifying, set a personal best jump of 221.5 meters.
GREYHOUNDS: The semifinal round of Derby Lane's richest stakes race, the $100,000 Distance Classic, is Wednesday night. Talentedmrripley is the only undefeated runner among the 16. He set the season's fastest time Saturday, .09 seconds off the track record. Talentedmrripley, who holds the record of 30.12 over Tampa's five-sixteenths mile course, is the fastest this year over both distances at Derby Lane. Before he moved to the longer distance, Talentedmrripley was within .04 of the record, 30.17 held by Fortress Of Gold. Talentedmrripley has 48 points going into the Distance semifinals, Ezra Clem has 42 and Rivers West 35. Courageous Nicky and Boot Scootin Gal are the only contenders from last year's final. Alderson is the defending kennel, winning last year with BD's Robin. Its entry, Mohican Garrett, is sixth in points. Derby Lane is offering free admission and a $5,000 cash giveaway Saturday. The races and post positions will be drawn for Wednesday's semifinals this afternoon. Derby Lane will offer wagering on the Kentucky Derby, which is May 4.
HORSES: Julie Jalouse won the $200,000 Grade II Orchid Handicap for mares and fillies at Hallandale Beach's Gulfstream Park, paying $13, $5.80 and $3.60. Sarafan won the $700,000 Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, paying $19.40, $7.20 and $6. Hugh Hefner won the $125,000 Crystal Water Handicap for California-breds at Santa Anita, paying $16.20, $9.20 and $4.40.
SOCCER: Libya plans to bid for the 2010 World Cup and 2006 African Cup of Nations. FIFA said it would like to hold a World Cup in Africa, but Libya is an unlikely candidate. The country has been under international sanctions since the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people were killed. A referee was kicked and punched by fans after a Greek league game in Athens, with fighting spilling into the streets. The referee was taken to the hospital with facial injuries. Fans of Panathinaikos Athens and Olympiakos Pireaus ripped out stadium seats, threw flares on the field and hurled coins and rocks at players.
RUNNING: Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (34:52) won the 7.5-mile race in Dublin, Ireland, becoming the first man to capture the long and short races in the same World Cross-Country Championships. Kenya's Edith Masai (13:39) won the 2.6-mile women's race. Kenya's Vincent Kipsos won the Rome Marathon in 2:09.30, and Italy's Maria Cocchetti won the women's in 2:33:06. Russian Andrey Kuzhetsov won the inaugural Washington D.C. Marathon in 2:23.40. Atlanta's Victoria Mills won the women's in 2:54:30.
_ VERA FILIPELLI, TIMES WIRES