Aug 22

No Proof that Chinese Gymnasts are Underage

With the Beijing Games winding down, the International Olympic Committee wants close all pending controversies regarding the ages of China’s gold medal women’s gymnastics team. The IOC still could not find sufficient proof of any cheating. They did ask the International Gymnastics Federation to investigate “what have been a number of questions and apparent discrepancies.” Nevertheless, all the information the Chinese gymnastics federation presented supports its claim that its gymnasts were in compliance to age requirements.

The IOC hopes that the matter will be put to rest since the information they received seems satisfactory in terms of the correct documentation—including birth certificates. If the federation had found evidence that the gymnasts were underage, it could have affected four of China’s medals. Parents of the gymnasts would already like to have closure on the issue as most of them have allegedly been indignant over the questions regarding their children’s age.

China coach Lu Shanzan said Asian gymnasts are naturally smaller than their American and European rivals.“Surely it’s not possible that these documents are still not sufficient proof of her birthdate?” Lu asked. “The passports were issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The identity card was issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security. It would be a difficult fight for those who believe they have been cheated. If the Chinese government had been part of the conspiracy, there was no way to prove that the girls were indeed underage. Cached website pages found by hackers that prove the girls were underage have since been removed. Previous gymnasts did admit that they had been underage during the Olympics that they had competed on. Maybe it will take a few more years to find the truth about the controversy.

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