US skater Tobias denied Lithuanian citizenship

Updated: January 7, 2013, 8:17 AM ET
Associated Press

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- The president of Lithuania refused Monday to grant citizenship to an American figure skater who had hoped to compete for the Baltic country at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

President Dalia Grybauskaite said in a statement that the decision not to grant citizenship to Isabella Tobias was based on a previous Constitution Court ruling that bars giving out citizenship on the basis of "future merit" -- a ruling that should not be second-guessed, the president added.

Since 2010, the 21-year-old Tobias has partnered with Lithuanian skater Deividas Stagniunas, and in 2011 the pair won the bronze medal in ice dancing at Skate America.

In October, Tobias applied for citizenship in order to compete for Lithuania at the 2014 Games in Russia.

The pair said on its Facebook page that they were "devastated" by the decision.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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