Olympic Games and Age of Chinese Gymnasts: Shame on IOC

Just few hours ago, this morning, I posted HERE about the investigation into the age of Chinese female gymnast.

A lot of facts seems to prove she is under-aged.

Anyway, I concluded that I didn’t not believe that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will really investigate it even though, deep in my mind, I was still naive and hoped for a real investigation.

And now, just few hours later, the IOC concluded its investigation: everything is normal.

Move along. Nothing to see here…

It is really a big farce!

The “investigation” it ordered into whether some Chinese gymnasts were under the minimum age of 16 was concluded after just a few hours today.

The not-so stunning verdict: The Chinese are innocent.

Please move along, now. Nothing to see here.

“We believe the matter will be put to rest and there’s no question … on the eligibility,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. “The information we have received seems satisfactory in terms of the correct documentation – including birth certificates.”

While you slept, the IOC swept.

Sorry, the matter isn’t being put to rest no matter how many whitewash inspections are done. A real investigation does not take hours. It takes days or weeks or however long is necessary.

What exactly did they do except look at the same questionable info – government-issued passports – they had previously been presented? Did they ask He Kexin if she was 16, cross your heart and hope to die?

The Associated Press says the Chinese turned over information to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on Thursday evening. It included the current and former passport, ID card and family residence permit for the double-gold medalist. All had the same and proper birth date.

That was enough for FIG, which by Friday morning had declared everything fine.

No word on the old websites, interviews with friends and families, a trip to the birth hospital or discovery of old school records. Nothing.

Perhaps this would have amounted to little and perhaps He and the others are, indeed, 16 – but this was nothing but the most ridiculous kind of propaganda.

A 12-hour investigation? Really? No one at the IOC or FIG has even the sense to think, “Perhaps we should at least pretend to care before simply clearing the gymnasts?”

The investigation by FIG was so fast word of its start didn’t make the Chinese government-controlled English newspaper China Daily. No news is good news.

This in the face of mounting evidence from multiple media and citizen investigations in America and England that showed more and more old registration forms, gymnastics websites and athlete logs that showed three of the six Chinese gymnasts used to list birth dates from 1993 and 1994, which would make them too young to compete at the Olympics.

In an effort to protect young athletes before their bones and muscles fully formed, FIG mandates that to compete in the Beijing Games a gymnast must be born in 1992 or before.

First came stories in The New York Times, The Associated Press and the Times of London that listed He’s birth date as a too-young Jan. 1, 1994. Then private citizens got involved. The latest was from a New York computer expert going by the name Stryde Hax who combed old Chinese documents on the web that found even more of the same.

Just last December government controlled media wrote stories about He calling her a 13-year-old “little girl” and a “star of the future.” The future became now when she showed up at the Olympics with a Chinese passport that claimed she was born Jan. 1, 1992.

There were also suspicions about two of her teammates. The birth date of Yang Yilin was listed on official national registration lists posted by the General Administration of Sport of China website for three years from 2004 to 2006 as a too young Aug. 26, 1993, according to the AP.

On her passport her birth date is Aug. 26, 1992.

Jiang Yuyuan’s birthday was Oct. 1, 1993, as recently as a registration list for a 2007 competition. On her passport she was born Nov. 1, 1991.

Perhaps the birth date of one gymnast could be confused one time, but half the team on multiple occasions? Considering 2000 Chinese bronze medalist Yang Yun later admitted on state television she was 14 that year, the IOC or FIG should have been all over this.

Instead, they did nothing until the USOC requested action. Then they just brushed it aside.

Having younger, and presumably smaller and more nimble athletes, can be a significant advantage in some gymnastics disciplines. Romania’s Nadia Comaneci scored seven perfect 10s in the 1976 Games when she was just 14, before FIG set the age limit.

This investigation isn’t fair to the sport of gymnastics, which will forever look suspiciously on the competition here. It isn’t fair to the United States, Romania and Russia, who all deserve to move up one spot on the medal stand if China used ineligible athletes.

And it isn’t fair to China, He and her teammates, who if innocent don’t deserve this to hang over their heads forever.

The IOC and FIG have never been about fair, though. They’ve been about kowtowing to the powerful and cashing the checks. They have so lost their way, have become so insulated by the power, they can’t even fathom no one is accepting a kangaroo court investigation.

Even the NCAA is smarter than that.



Thanks to Dan Wetzel.

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7 Responses

  1. The spirit of the 16 rule is that prepubescent girls should be protected from the longterm dangers of overtraining at too young an age.

    Rather than do away with the rule, as some people suggest, I suggest we do away with the event altogether. I mean, if people actually care about the well-being of children. Which they clearly don’t in large numbers.

    The other countries could have broken the rules and provided their own 14 year-olds who can spin faster due to less rotational mass. Ah, great China. Where being human means f-all.

    The emperor has no clothes.

  2. The most disgusting is not to see countries acting by this way, but to see the IOC forgetting the Olympic principles…

  3. Here is how I think it went during the investigation:
    IOC investigator: How old are you now, my child?
    He: I am 16, Sir.
    IOC investigator: Are you sure?
    He: Yes I am sure, Sir.
    IOC investigator: Are you telling the truth?
    He: Yes I am telling the truth, Sir.
    IOC investigator: So how do you look so young?
    He: I exercise a lot.
    IOC investigator: Way you go, girl. Probably I should do that, too.
    He: Yes, that might help, Sir.
    IOC investigator: Ok, that will be all, my child. Great job with the gold metal, by the way. You may go now.
    He: Thank you, Sir.

    So there. 3 minutes work, in fact.
    And they waited for 12 hours!!!
    How can you accuse them for not trying to pretend that they care?
    That is just not fair! Hahah
    For the rest, I totally agree with you.

  4. Me too heard this… Too bad… I didn’t expect this from Chinese…. How they did this? Aiming only for medals, this is unfair.. Friend check my recent post…

  5. Regardless of the outcome somehow.
    someway FIG and IOC should pay for this.
    To me it is more important than the medals.
    I call on the immediate resignation of both
    the IOC pres. and the FIG pres. What’s it going
    to take to get rid of these idiots. Does the
    new world order call for such routine malfeasense?

  6. Jo, you are too sweet with the IOC. I believe that the result was done before investigation. So even 3 minutes were too much… 🙂

    Shiva, you didn’t expect it from China?… Hum… Nothing else could be expected from them… I saw your last posts… Congratulations for the awards! 🙂

    John, an immediate resignation is impossible in this corrupted world. But I do hope that Rogge won’t be re-elect next year… I wish it’s not a naive expectation…

  7. Don’t feel bad America. You guys still get the gold medal for being the best Olympic cheaters! You remember when over 100 of your athletes tested positive for banned substances in 1988, but your Olympic committee covered it up and let them compete anyway? Those guys ending up winning 19 medals and they all got to keep them. That was awesome! And remember that spectacular opening ceremony in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics? You know, the one where your country bribed IOC members so that the Olympics could be held there. My eyes just tear up remembering the beauty of that moment. Be proud America! Be proud that you can be such hypocritical bastards and not even realize it!

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