IOC Orders Age Investigation of Chinese Gymnasts

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Probe ordered into Chinese gymnast's age

    Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:51am EDT
    By Simon Denyer


    BEIJING (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into allegations Chinese authorities covered up the age of a double gold medal winning gymnast because she was too young to compete.

    He Kexin, who won team gold in artistic gymnastics and an individual title on the asymmetric bars, was registered as being born on January 1, 1992.

    There have been persistent media allegations that He had competed in earlier tournaments under a later birthdate, and on Thursday an American computer expert said he had uncovered Chinese state documents that proved she was 14 and not 16.

    The caption on a photograph published by Chinese state news agency Xinhua last year referred to "13-year-old He Kexin".

    An IOC official said the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) had been asked to look into "discrepancies" over He's age, but others stressed He had already been cleared to compete.

    "Everything that has been received so far shows we have no problem of eligibility for these competitors," said the IOC's sports director Christophe Dubi, adding FIG had asked the Chinese national gymnastics federation to investigate.

    IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies added the organization wanted to clear up the matter 100 percent "and put it to rest".

    Gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of the Games to take part, and China's gymnastics coach told a news conference all the team "were in total compliance with the age requirement".

    "Since Asian bodies are not the same as Westerners', there have been questions, but there shouldn't be," Huang Yubin said.

    China has invested billions in selecting and training its athletes from a young age, an effort rewarded by top spot in the medals table, with 46 golds. This has been seen as a sign China has the sporting prowess to match its rising superpower status.

    There has been criticism of the system even from within China, though, with one former Olympic medalist saying many children who fail to make the grade are left without sufficient education or social skills.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Well it's about darn time they acknowledged the fact some of those girls were not of age. I had heard about the possible falsification of a gymnasts age on a passport before the Olympics even started. They should have done a thorough investigation then. It's going to be a tense situation at best if they have to disqualify those girls and give their gold medals to someone else.

    Then again since the judges for womens gymnastics seemed blind to the flaws in the Chinese girls routines this may be the only way for the rightful winners in a few events to get the accolades and awards they deserve. :cool:


    My mom always says, "God don't like ugly and he cares very little for pretty."
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Perhaps in the Central Kingdom wishing makes things so but these kids aren't 16. They should be stripped of their medals. It demonstrates yet again that China's government is does not understand how China must conduct itself if it hopes to gain any respect in the world.
     
  3. Principessa

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    I agree. The IOC was wrong to ignore it this long. It's fairly easy to forge the birthdate on a passport with the right equipment. I guess China thought the host country should have special privileges.
     
  4. Xcuze

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    The rightful winners being who I wonder? :rolleyes: There's only one of there team under serious suspicion so lets not discount all their achievements. I disagree the judges favoured them - even the UK commentators were overawed by their team performance & felt they deserved it. Whatever age, they are amazing little gymnasts. They shouldnt be stripped of their medals because these issues should of been dealt with before the events. Its not the gymnasts fault so why should they have their medals snatched away? The officials fucked up.

    Having said all that... I saw a docu-film on the Chinese circus recently & was absolutely shocked & disgusted with how they trained young children. Not only were they physically pushed to beyond breaking point but they were also verbally abused in the most shocking way. They were crying out in pain at times & had tears streaming down their face. Absolute child abuse. Torture even. That was just for the circus so its probably even worse for sporting events. Some countries dont give a fuck about child suffering. I think they take the attitude that "its a great lesson for them & toughens them up".
     
  5. 8inchy

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    i don't think the problem is her age.

    EDIT: Yes, it is. Just as minor pics (although fakes) of Daniel Radcliffe were removed from LPSG.
     
    #5 8inchy, Aug 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2008
  6. Irish

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    This is a really overused phrase... If they were pushed to the breaking point, guess what would happen? They would break.

    Beyond? They still break.

    They don't break, it's just shitty conditions and extremely rough.

    I don't like or agree with how China handles most of their training of young athlete's, but don't say it's "beyond breaking point" when it obviously isn't. You can push for either the resilience of the human body or the human spirit here, but either way humans are pretty tough when we have to be.
     
  7. Domisoldo

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    I wish the IOC would also look into the case of Chad Hunt, the subject of that other thread.
     
  8. Xcuze

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    Oh do shut up. I know what I meant & I stick by it. These kids do actually suffer terrible injuries & are expected to suffer in silence. Pushing a childs body to its absolute limits can lead to all kinds of problems for them in adult life. Including physical deformities. Then there is the emotional aspect; some of these children looked thoroughly miserable & even depressed. In that sense they have been broken. The way youre being pissy about my choice of words is so fucking lame. Children deserve a childhood & when they are forced into a tough, relentless training regime through sheer poverty then they are virtually slaves.
     
  9. Irish

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    Pick, please.

    I'm not being pissy, you're being inconsistent.
     
    #9 Irish, Aug 22, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  10. Drifterwood

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    I thought that the age limit was 14 :confused:. We have a 14 year old lad in the diving.

    Is there some sour grapes here?
     
  11. B_AZBiGuy

    B_AZBiGuy New Member

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    For gymnastics it's 16... or that the gymnast must turn 16 during the Olympic year.

    I don't care that the Chinese had better gymnasts... they clearly did not follow the rules that they agreed to follow. (Not that the US has a sparkling reputation doing the same, politically.) Just like the track stars who were stripped of their medal finishes for stepping on that little white line... you break the rules, you get disqualified. End of story.
     
  12. Drifterwood

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    Well that is what is being asked to be investigated, though of course "probe ordered" is a far better headline.

    But I agree, rules are rules, as all the drug cheats have or are finding out.

    Why the discrepancy in age limits?
     
  13. SteveHd

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    I wonder what documentation the news media and Westerners would accept as proof of her age? Any "copy" of a paper document could be rejected as forged. About the only thing I can think of is: a birth record; and independently determine if it's truly 16 years old via radiocarbon or other technique. I figure paper birth documents are uncommon in China and thus not an option.

    I seriously doubt there's any proof the naysayers will accept.

    I'm not saying the naysayers are wrong. I have real doubt about her age.

    What would be acceptable proof of her age?
     
  14. Domisoldo

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    A completely painless medical and dental exam could exonerate her if indeed she met the age requirement.

    Official Chinese birth records would be too...errrr...official in my Western opinion.
     
  15. Drifterwood

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    Wouldn't the physical and dental records just show that she had or hadn't matured in a certain way to a certain extent? Genuine question.

    I agree Steve, there will be an official proof that she is 16 and nobody who wants to diebelieve it will believe it.

    Didn't the Eastern Bloc used to use growth retardants on its gymnasts?
     
  16. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Agreed, look at her teeth and bones.

    Something else bothered me. Hu didn't seem to care that she had won. She smiled and waved robotically then walked off. She didn't talk to reporters. Either she didn't quite realize what she had done or she felt she had to be so controlled that no one explained she had to appear joyous. I found her reaction sad and creepy.

    Just about anything can be done in China with a bribe. What I wonder is who put Hu up to this? Was it the Chinese gymnastics authorities or a higher authority. If it's the latter then we may find all sorts of documents magically changed to make her 16 and the investigation will prove fruitless. I am disappointed the only thing the IOC can do is ask the wolf to investigate what other wolves are doing. I hope someone high in the party will realize that the truth will come out some day and it will be better to save face now rather than later. If it does appear the Beijing government is cooperating with this fraud then it will irreparably damage the government of China's already dubious reputation with the IOC and the rest of the world; not worth a few gymnastics medals in the long run.
     
  17. Domisoldo

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    16 is much easier a threshold to assess than, say 25.

    Experts can look at any number of age markers, including sexual maturity, radiography (hand, wrist, clavicles, ...) and teeth of course.

    I suspect that criminology drove a lot of the science involved.
     
  18. Shelby

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    I thought she was too hot to be 16.:tongue:
     
  19. SteveHd

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    Domisoldo, is the science that you refer to reputable enough to silence many of the naysayers? They seem to have their minds made up.

    To all: what I see is a case of: guilty, until proved otherwise.
     
  20. B_AZBiGuy

    B_AZBiGuy New Member

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    A lot of these kids, should they win, will get a nice house and land for their family... according to some reports they did during the Olympics. China is one of those countries (like the US) that pays its athletes who medal.

    And I imagine that this gymnast would be thrilled to give her family a piece of land with a nice house on it. Shit, I may start training my kids today... I am gonna need a place to live in about 10 years. :)
     
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