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A variety of screenshots provided by Stryde Hax, allegedly proving gymast He Kexin to be two years underage to participate in the 2008 Olympics.  (Source: Stryde Hax)
Proving once again that search engines can be some of the greatest hacking tools on the internet

A clever search engine hacker says he’s located primary source documents, provided by the Chinese government, that contain proof of an age-related cover-up on behalf of the Chinese women’s gymnastics team.

Working under the pseudonym “Stryde Hax” and posting to his blog, he says he was able to download spreadsheets previously deleted by the Chinese government by pulling up a cached copy stored on Chinese search-engine Baidu.

Stryde’s Blogger profile describes him as a consultant for security firm Intrepidus Group, and says he spends his spare time “[finding] things on web servers that were never meant to be found.”

His efforts focused specifically on gold-medal winning gymnast He Kexin, whose age is widely reported to be 16 years old. He’s passport lists her date of birth to be January 1, 1992 – however reports from a variety of news sources, including Chinese English-language newspaper China Daily, previously showed her birthday to be January 1, 1994, placing her age at a disqualifying 14 years old. (Many of the original reports allegedly disappeared soon after the scandal initially broke out.)

In order to participate, Olympic gymnasts must be at least 16 years old. The sport has a long history of contestants misrepresenting their age in order to participate in senior-level competitions.

Stryde says the documents he located were originally stored on web servers for the General Administration of Sport of China, however they appear to have been removed after a similar – largely unnoticed – story ran last July in the New York Times. Running a specially constructed search query against Google yielded a handful of results that ended up going nowhere, and Google’s cached data revealed what appeared to him as doctored or missing information. Running the same query against Baidu, however, netted another set of results that, like Google, went nowhere – but unlike Google, contained cached information clearly showing He with a birthday of January 1, 1994.

In response to his calls for urgency – not to mention front page exposure on Slashdot and Digg – Stryde says he’s been overwhelmed with support from readers, many who decided to mirror the spreadsheets on their own before they disappeared off of the web completely.

Of particular interest is a machine-translated version of his findings, which clearly state:

799, BB He Kexin CC female AA 1994.1.01 Beijing and
Beijing Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau, First Note

Regardless of the authenticity of Stryde’s findings – a handful of commenters dispute his claims – it’s possible that should his evidence either prove to be conclusive, or lead to the introduction of even more definitive evidence, then the 2008 Chinese gymnastics scandal could be the next in line to be felled by a relatively new phenomenon called “crowdsourcing,” or tapping into the collective knowledge of the internet. A similar phenomenon may have hastened the retirement of CBS news anchor Dan Rather, who once presented evidence of a story on air that the blogosphere later proved to be false.

At the time of this writing, the cached documents still appear to be online at Baidu.

Update 08/21/2008: Stryde's findings appear to have been the catalyst for a newly-opened, official IOC investigation into He Kexin's age.


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Waits for it...
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/21/2008 9:12:40 AM , Rating: 5
I'm so sick of people saying this is some kind of nationalistic/racist thing.

It's plain and simple. Those were the rules. If China broke them, they should lose there medals. Marion Jones lost her track medals for doping years after.

If these actions hold true, China should lose any medals these girls won.

Without rules, sports are meaningless. If you don't like the rules, file to change them, don't cheat.

*Sigh*




RE: Waits for it...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/21/2008 9:18:11 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is that this is not new for Gymnastics. Several countries have done this, and few actions have been taken to penalize the offending country. There is not a doubt in my mind that at least half of the Chinese gymnasts are below the required age. China wanted to increase their chances of gold medals at the Olympics they were hosting, and they forged some papers to get some younger more nible kids in to help with that.

Frankly, if anyone is surprised by this finding they need to come back down to Planet Earth and Reality.


RE: Waits for it...
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/21/2008 9:27:10 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The problem is that this is not new for Gymnastics. Several countries have done this, and few actions have been taken to penalize the offending country.


True, but if you screwed up before, that's not a justification for continuing to screw up.

Hopefully the public attention to this blatantly violation forces the FIG and IOC to police the age restrictions with a bit more effort.

It's like sure baseball players doped for years, but is it bad that the MLB has finally chosen to crack down on it now? No, when there are problems you should try to solve them as opposed to keep messing up.

And no I am not surprised by China doing this. China, must like Russia of old seems to have a mentality where they are willing to succeed at all costs. This can be both good and bad. In this case it is certainly bad.


RE: Waits for it...
By Inkjammer on 8/21/2008 10:12:02 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
where they are willing to succeed at all costs. This can be both good and bad .
Sort of like China so adamant on having the best Olympics ever they decided to battle Mother Nature with anti-aircraft guns? That's not smog over Beijing. Just cloud corpses.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2006-06-29-chin...


RE: Waits for it...
By GoodRevrnd on 8/21/2008 10:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And no I am not surprised by China doing this. China, must like Russia of old seems to have a mentality where they are willing to succeed at all costs.

Not that there's anything dishonest about this, but it just goes to prove the point. On NPR today they were discussing how China outspent the US 7:1 on Olympic athlete training. They're certainly in this to win.


RE: Waits for it...
By seamonkey79 on 8/22/2008 9:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
They're just trying to pretend to the world that they're a real, first world nation, rather than the still backwards third world nation that manages their slave labour better than any other third world nation.


RE: Waits for it...
By wordsworm on 8/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By Denithor on 8/25/2008 6:32:53 PM , Rating: 3
And just how many white and red and yellow "slaves" are out there alongside the black ones to whom you refer? I personally think it's good to put convicts to work. They made a conscious decision to break the law, make 'em pay for it (and hard labor is a good way to do it).


RE: Waits for it...
By wordsworm on 8/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Waits for it...
By Kenenniah on 8/26/2008 10:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
So what, the other option is to let prisoners just relax and chill all day long while I work and pay taxes to cover their expenses? I have to work for a living, why shouldn't they have to? If not, we become more of their slaves.


RE: Waits for it...
By wordsworm on 8/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By borismkv on 8/27/2008 6:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about pot calling the kettle black. Have you looked at yourself lately? Maybe you should lay off the peyote.

And I'm sorry, but the pot smoking hippy is not going to be put on labor for getting caught with some dope. They barely spend enough time in prison to miss the next episode of Lost. Drug dealers, the ones who deal in heroin and cocaine (and probably your favorite brand of hashish), are usually also guilty of much much more than just dealing drugs.

Furthermore, if someone is on the road, driving stoned, I have about as much sympathy for them getting busted as a drunk driver. So why don't you take off *your* self-righteous, new-age, happy world of make-believe blinders and get freaking real!


RE: Waits for it...
By wordsworm on 8/27/2008 11:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm calling it like it is: slavery. It's you who is trying to justify it.

It's a cultural genocide that's going on, and plenty of the folks who are rebelling against the Bush/Nixon Reich are getting put into forced labor camps.

Anyways, you're just into mixing your morals. It's ok for the US to put its political prisoners into jail, but not for China. Whatever, I guess that's the norm.


RE: Waits for it...
By borismkv on 8/27/2008 5:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
The constitution draws a very specific line between slave labor and punitive labor. Yes there are black prisoners swinging picks, but they're standing right next to white prisoners who are also swinging picks.


RE: Waits for it...
By redbone75 on 8/22/2008 9:53:35 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Not that there's anything dishonest about this,

Umm... China's using underage athletes to gain an advantage (allegedly <wink>) and is trying to cover it up. Does the meaning of "dishonest" escape you?

It's dishonest, but it doesn't surprise me. They had a stand-in for the vocalist at the opening ceremony b/c she was deemed not cute enough, for cryin' out loud.


RE: Waits for it...
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2008 9:28:24 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with both of you. They should lose the medals. As should the Chinese shooter who won 3rd place over an American when he clearly missed up to three targets. The fact that it has happened before does not mean it should be allowed. You hear every year about American medals being contested. Why should any other country not receive the same treatment?

This Olympics China wanted to show they are the dominant power. So they're doing everything they can to do so.

The only tragedy here is that these Chinese girls will be punished for the actions of their government. Granted, they bear part of the blame for going along with it and misrepresenting their age. So I have little pity for them.


RE: Waits for it...
By Sulphademus on 8/21/2008 10:08:06 AM , Rating: 5
Wait, you mean there was an option to not go along with it?


RE: Waits for it...
By MrBlastman on 8/21/2008 10:20:01 AM , Rating: 1
Sure there was - it was presented with a gun to their head though...

Communism :( *shakes head in disgust*


RE: Waits for it...
By Laitainion on 8/21/2008 10:40:15 AM , Rating: 5
No, that's Totalitarianism. Modern Chinese is communist in the same way that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is democratic.


RE: Waits for it...
By NullSubroutine on 8/22/2008 2:51:56 AM , Rating: 1
This.


RE: Waits for it...
By ZmaxDP on 8/21/2008 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 5
"Granted, they bear part of the blame for going along with it and misrepresenting their age. So I have little pity for them. "

This is China, not the USA. These 14 year old girls don't really have an option. The sports organization feeds them, houses them, pays for all their expenses, and if they stood up as you suggest they should the best outcome would be getting dumped on the street penniless and without any real training or education outside of their sport. (They don't get a great education when they are in training 14 hours a day.) More likely their parents and them are threatened with "consequences" so they shut up and do it. Personal responsibility only works in a relatively free society. This is precisely why I'm such a big fan of free societies. You can blame people for their actions instead of "corporations" or "governments." Makes it far easier for a society to punish poor behavior and reward good behavior.


RE: Waits for it...
By Diesel Donkey on 8/21/2008 10:31:55 AM , Rating: 5
Oh, the Chinese government might not be so harsh as to send those girls out on the streets penniless if they stood up against cheating. They government might be kind enough to send them to one of their mind-alteration work camps. They would fed there, and probably clothed, too.


RE: Waits for it...
By FITCamaro on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By bodar on 8/21/2008 2:25:05 PM , Rating: 5
Uhhhh, we're talking about cheating at the Olympics here, not murder. The two are hardly the same.


RE: Waits for it...
By KhaoticAlien on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By winterspan on 8/22/2008 3:03:11 AM , Rating: 1
Oh give me a freaking break -- those situations are not the same. These girls were chosen when they were three or four years old for full time training under the auspices of the government. They basically have zero choice of the matter. Like you would do anything different in the situation.

It amazes me how many totally asinine comments you can pump out of your hamster-wheel in one day...


RE: Waits for it...
By daveinternets on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By Typesno on 8/22/2008 1:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
quit taking what The Colbert Report says and writing it on the internet like you came up with. LOL


RE: Waits for it...
By NullSubroutine on 8/22/2008 2:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe, that is the holy man himself. Stephen H. Colbert....


RE: Waits for it...
By MozeeToby on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By bighairycamel on 8/21/2008 5:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I disagree with taking the medals away from the athletes. Let's face it, even assuming they are aware of the rules (not necissarily a valid assumption)...


It is a valid and proven assumption since the girls have been telling the media that they are 16. If they are in fact younger than that, then that would mean they had been speicifically told to lie so they could compete.


RE: Waits for it...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/22/2008 8:43:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I disagree with taking the medals away from the athletes.

Give me a freakin break. You cheat, you get caught, you lose the medals. I don't care if you did it willingly, unwillingly, or were forced at gun point. Strip them of their medals.


RE: Waits for it...
By Aloonatic on 8/22/2008 9:06:05 AM , Rating: 2
That sounds like what could easily happen if this was to occur during the London 2012 Olympics and the UK authorities had to make the decision.

The way that "competition" is such a dirty word in the UK these days, I wouldn't be surprised to see words like "winner" and "loser" being banned as it might make someone sad.

They would almost certainly replace the gold, silver and bronze medals with a steel medal for everyone who turns up, just for being super and "having a go", given half a chance.

Seriously though, they knew. It's highly unlikely that they don't know the rules but even if they didn't, they still cheated. Ignorance is no excuse.


RE: Waits for it...
By winterspan on 8/22/2008 2:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you for the most part, except you have to remember these are children, and they have been trained since they were three or four years old. I guarantee the state has much more control and influence over them and their families than the equivalent in any western country, so I wouldn't necessarily hold them responsible for misrepresenting their age.

Anyways, I also agree with the OP saying he's sick of this being cast as an issue of nationalism or racism. You can guarantee if this type of scandal came out of the American team, there would be all kinds of hollering going on.


RE: Waits for it...
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2008 3:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is that this is not new for Gymnastics. Several countries have done this, and few actions have been taken to penalize the offending country. There is not a doubt in my mind that at least half of the Chinese gymnasts are below the required age. China wanted to increase their chances of gold medals at the Olympics they were hosting, and they forged some papers to get some younger more nible kids in to help with that. Frankly, if anyone is surprised by this finding they need to come back down to Planet Earth and Reality.


That same argument could be used to justify doping. Doping okay?


RE: Waits for it...
By Hiawa23 on 8/21/2008 9:22:14 AM , Rating: 5
I really loved watching the Chinese girls perform in this year's Olympic gymnastics, & I remember saying to myself, these girls look so much younger than the American girls, but they were great & if China did break the rules the medals ought to be taken away, & this has nothing to do with race, or anything else. Their country is so much different than the States as it seems that the government controls everything, & if anyone there says anything, they could be killed or vanish.


RE: Waits for it...
By Screwballl on 8/21/2008 11:04:22 AM , Rating: 4
I think this is a big part of it... I suspect many of the judges are being bought out or otherwise compromised... these judges are afraid that if they give bad scores they will disappear or have an "accident"... so we may see that after the Olympics are over, a separate panel of judges will go over the routines and strip China of at least 10-20 medals just based on performance.. plus more being lost due to the age scandal that is only now taking place.


RE: Waits for it...
By Regs on 8/21/2008 9:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think a lot of people just feel sorry for them. It would be like taking a candy bar away from an Iraqi boy.

In America, where competivness is part of everyday life, we can't tolerate cheating. We should know better.

I guess since American's don't want to be pictured as the big bully, we actually would like to see some one else win. Kind of like the Giant's kicking the crap out of the Cowboy's and Patriot's (and accusing patriots of cheating of course).


RE: Waits for it...
By FITCamaro on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By Regs on 8/21/2008 9:40:22 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
And 21-17 in the Cowboys vs. Giants game last year is hardly an @sskicking.


Still bitter?


RE: Waits for it...
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2008 1:26:39 PM , Rating: 1
No just don't say we got our asses kicked when it was a very good and close game. Same with the Super Bowl.

I like the Cowboys win or lose. Obviously prefer them to win though.


RE: Waits for it...
By ZmaxDP on 8/21/2008 10:25:16 AM , Rating: 5
Tell me about it. People talk about the values of our country being based on the idea that everyone is equal. This is utter BS.

"...created equal" does not equate to always equal.
"...equal opportunity" does not equate to equal success.

Our politicians these days seem to talk about the results being guaranteed rather than the right to try and get them being guaranteed. Drives me freakin' crazy. This kind of drivel has caused a shift in this country's consciousness that we are all entitled to whatever we want regardless of what we do.

We are all equal in two senses only - we come in with the chance to do whatever we can and get rewarded accordingly. After that, we're all equally different.

(Well, I supposed I do know a few people who are disproportionately different...)


RE: Waits for it...
By retrospooty on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By piroroadkill on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/21/2008 9:46:35 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is that younger girls are more flexible and have an advantage because their bodies are smaller and less developed. That is the reason for age minimums in Gymnastics. The body of a 12 or 14 year old is far superior in gymnastics than the body of a 16 or 20 year old. The way the gymnasts are scored, younger undeveloped bodies have a large advantage.


RE: Waits for it...
By Entropy42 on 8/21/2008 9:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
This is a really flawed argument. Natural advantages should be regulated? What about banning everyone under 30 then, because they are naturally more fit than older competitors. I would guess that the regulation has more to do with the fact that younger bodies may be damaged by training, but I don't know. I just hope its not actually because they have an age advantage.


RE: Waits for it...
By bighairycamel on 8/21/2008 10:05:47 AM , Rating: 4
Another reason mentioned was their younger undeveloped muscles were more susceptible to harsh injuies; injuries that would effect the gymnast for the rest of their life. At 14 gymnasts should still be training skills, not doing whole routines. At the risk of sounding cliche, since when has the Chinese government cared about the wellbeing of a citizen?


RE: Waits for it...
By DASQ on 8/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Waits for it...
By Aloonatic on 8/21/2008 11:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
Training and competition are 2 completely different things.

Gymnastics is probably one of the most dangerous sports in the Olympic games.

When things go wrong, they can go very wrong and an inexperienced gymnast may well do something that she is not capable of on the say so of a coach.

I think the main reason for the age rule is to remove the temptation for coaches to use drugs and horemones to inhibit the natural growth of the girls for the reasons stated else where.

If they are expected to be over 14 and therefore have relatively mature bodies there is little point in keeping their physical shape to that of a child for as long as possible, as happened in the past.


RE: Waits for it...
By bighairycamel on 8/21/2008 11:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, it's not an argument, it's what was stated by the FIG.

Second, training skills and doing routines are very physically different. Learning how to do a flip off the high bar with 24 inches of mat underneath you in a controlled training environment is very less risky than doing multiple skills tied together with only 6 inches of padding underneath you and no one there to catch you.


RE: Waits for it...
By VaultDweller on 8/21/2008 7:59:45 PM , Rating: 1
Nah, that reasoning doesn't fly. Junior level gymnasts are judged on the same criteria as senior level gymnasts and perform the same maneuvers. They'd be doing the same thing whether they're competing against older athletes or not, so there's no reduction in risk - just a reduction in reward.


RE: Waits for it...
By rqle on 8/21/2008 9:54:45 AM , Rating: 4
its to protect the gymnist, rules was change so their bone can develope, international community didnt feel it was right for one of them to suffer an injury that can be damaging for the rest of their life.

for other sports in the olympics, any age can compete deem your best of the best. i guess they feel somewhat responsible.


RE: Waits for it...
By kelmon on 8/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Waits for it...
By akugami on 8/21/2008 10:31:36 AM , Rating: 2
Archery and diving is nowhere near as physically demanding as gymnastics.


RE: Waits for it...
By emboss on 8/21/2008 12:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
You'd actually be surprised about platform diving. At a competitive level, it actually puts pretty significant strains on your body, both from the movements while spinning and from hitting water from 10 metres up. There's only so many times your wrists and shoulders can take the impact until they give out.


RE: Waits for it...
By Souka on 8/21/2008 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually...the Chineese platform divers are typically failed Gymnasts...

This came from CBC coverage of the platform divers when they were talking abotu their training background. Something like "Typically these Chinesse divers are gymnasts that found platform diving a better fit".

"found.." "Better fit"... aka, failed Gymnasts

My $.02


RE: Waits for it...
By emboss on 8/21/2008 3:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
"Failed" is probably being a bit harsh. Sort of like calling a 100 m runner a failed 400 m runner. While there are similarities, and skills do transfer somewhat between them, you tend to be intrinsically suited more for one than the other. Most gymnastic disciplines require good anaerobic endurance, whereas diving focuses more on pure power (since you only need to exert yourself for a couple of seconds).

Also, quite a few gymnasts take up diving after suffering lower-body injuries that prevent them from continuing with gymnastics. By moving over to diving, they can work on wrecking their upper body to match :)

Finally, kids are typically introduced to gymnastics at a younger age than diving (not least because most children do not have sufficient elbow development to dive safely under the age of 7 or so), so quite often will have been doing gymnastics before they enter diving.


RE: Waits for it...
By Aloonatic on 8/21/2008 11:00:11 AM , Rating: 3
Rules is rules though, and I doubt that they were invented in case they may annoy the Chinese.

Gymnastics has a less than glorious history when it comes to the treatment of the younger female gymnasts, particularly by the Easter Block countries.

I believe the age limit is essentially a measure intended to protect the Girls both above and bellow 14 years of age.

Comparing the physical impact of gymnastics to archery or even diving isn't really at all fair. A gymnast's body is pushed to the limits and some very bad things can happen. There's plenty of clips on youtube of girls (and boys) landing on their heads and such as they push themselves to the limit when they try to compete.

Sure, when they train they are at risk of injuring themselves but in a big competition the temptation for a girl to push her self too far, purely on the say so of her coach without having the experience of her own body and limits is v dangerous.

One of the other big problems that sport used to have was coaches doping up their girl gymnasts with drugs and hormones to stop their bodies maturing as (as stated above) a girls smaller body is a positive advantage.

If the rules make it so that they are expected to have a fairly mature body this is essentially pointless.


RE: Waits for it...
By amdwilliam1985 on 8/21/2008 10:22:12 AM , Rating: 2
According to your analogy, then I can have a 15 years old kid enter the junior karate tournament(if there is a such thing) and beat the crap out of your 10 years old kid and win the gold medal for it. The "Retarded rule" will prevent such thing from happening.


RE: Waits for it...
By retrospooty on 8/21/2008 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Is a direct combat sport, sure an adult has an advantage over a child. That is why they have age categories in such sports. Even boxing has weight categoreis... But gymnastics is purely skill, and HEAVILYabout practice. Why should age matter?


RE: Waits for it...
By wordsworm on 8/23/2008 8:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
You've got it backwards. It would be like having your 10 year old kid enter a junior karate tournament with 15 year olds and kicking their collective butts.

Another way to look at it - it would be like Walter Gretzky sending his son into teams with much older and bigger players and then breaking all the scoring records. Damned young kids are taking over the world. What happened to putting them in rooms and locking them in?


RE: Waits for it...
By Diesel Donkey on 8/21/2008 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any idea how badly gymnastics training can damage a young girl's body? There's also the mental aspect. Asking a 12-year-old to perform on the world stage with her country's hopes and expectations on her shoulders can have serious consequences, especially if things don't work out as planned.


RE: Waits for it...
By retrospooty on 8/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Waits for it...
By IGoodwin on 8/21/2008 12:53:43 PM , Rating: 3
I think the point is the competition should be fair. If China used underage contestants because of the 'natural' advantages, then the rest of the world should have been allowed to enter their younger contestants.


RE: Waits for it...
By retrospooty on 8/21/2008 10:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I agree with you there. I was just saying its a dumb rule.


RE: Waits for it...
By Keeir on 8/21/2008 1:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
The problem

Its a "rule". A rule enacted by the governing body of the sport and applied equally to all participants. The rule is clearly written and easy to follow.

Violating the rule is grounds for a DQ. Just like any other rules. If I was caught throwing a discus that wieghed slightly more, I would be disqualified, even though I gained no disernable advantage from the heavier wieght.


RE: Waits for it...
By CloudFire on 8/25/2008 4:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
seriously, i completely agree

some people posting on this thread don't seem to understand that RULES are made by the olympic committee that the WHOLE world has to oblige by to maintain regulations.

it is very simple, if you cheat, you should be DQ for following a basic rule that anyone who is literate could understand.

Gymnasts HAS TO BE 16 years of age or OLDER to compete. last time i checked on the sequential numbering system, 14 is below 16.

on those premises, they should lose their medals. that is all to it.


RE: Waits for it...
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2008 1:32:58 PM , Rating: 3
It doesn't matter whether you think they're ready.

The FACT is that the rules say 16. If she's under that then she's not eligible to compete and thus should be stripped of her medal.

Until the rules are changed, they must be abided by. You can argue all you want on whether you agree or not. But they're still there.

Many people think 18 year olds should be allowed to drink in the US. That doesn't mean a kid is less guilty because they chose to ignore it based on that they think its unfair.


RE: Waits for it...
By retrospooty on 8/21/2008 10:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
I know... I agree with you there, not saying China didnt cheat, they did. I just think the rule should not be.


RE: Waits for it...
By smegz on 8/21/2008 1:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think an even bigger concern may exist beyond the rules. The IOC accepts government issued passports for age verification. If it is found that the Chinese have deliberately falsified a passport; what light does that put every other official Chinese ID in? A pretty bad one. ID falsification in a post 9/11 world? That's not good.


RE: Waits for it...
By mezman on 8/21/2008 3:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think that this is an indication of how the Chinese aren't prepared to have the international media spotlight. They are accustomed to being in complete control of their media and what the state says, is. I don't think they thought anyone would call them on this because, well, it's just not part of their mentality.

I don't think they expected anyone to call them on replacing the little kid with buck teeth who sang in the opening ceremonies with a cuter girl.

I'm totally for stripping the girls of their medals should this case be proven. Now, we'll see if that happens though. I kinda doubt it.


RE: Waits for it...
By Continuation on 8/21/2008 6:09:00 PM , Rating: 1
So just because some random self-proclaimed "hacker" presented some random screen shots that anyone with a computer could've made up in 2 minutes - that means the Chinese gymnasts must be underaged?

So far, there has been no proof whatsoever of the underage allegation. The IOC undertook an investigation and found nothing. The only things you have are rumors and random internet postings. Yet many are presuming China to be guilty. Is this some kind of "nationalistic/racist thing"?


RE: Waits for it...
By Parhel on 8/21/2008 10:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with that. Before jumping to conclusions, I'd like to see something much more credible.

Also, I'd like to add that I find the fact that her birth date was January 1st to be a little suspicious. Sure, it's possible. In fact I'd bet that about 1 out every 365 people are born on that day. But it just seems like it might be some kind of default information in a database that was never properly filled out.


RE: Waits for it...
By eldakka on 8/22/2008 4:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
A DoB of 1 January isn't really that unusual.

There are many hundreds of millions of people around the world who don't know what year they were born in, let alone the day and month.

In many countries in immigration departments, a DoB on applying for visas etc is in fact not a mandatory field.

However in some countries it is a mandatory field, and in those cases people will make 'best guesses' as to their age, then choose a random DoB within that year they think they were born, and many just choose 01/01.

As to the evidence, as I understand it, documents were found in numerous online locations (newspapers, google, etc) by someone, and when this age was pointed out many of these 'finds' disappeared. THEN some hacker found a cached version of these 'disappeared' documents on the baidu cache.


RE: Waits for it...
By 16nm on 8/21/2008 7:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
No, since China produced false passports for these girls then China should be stripped of ALL of her medals. It is not the 14 year old girl trying to cheat -- it's China.


RE: Waits for it...
By Aloonatic on 8/22/2008 6:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
Gutsy move , you're a shark!


RE: Waits for it...
By VaultDweller on 8/21/2008 8:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, the FIG rule is that senior level competitors must have a valid passport issued by their home country... which she has.


RE: Waits for it...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/22/2008 9:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't give me that. If that was the case, then everyone would be doing it.


RE: Waits for it...
By vxmqzz on 8/23/2008 12:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
Below is quoted from AP:

"The International Olympic Committee said Friday there is still no proof
anyone cheated, but it asked gymnastics officials to investigate “what have
been a number of questions and apparent discrepancies,” spokeswoman
Giselle Davies said. The International Gymnastics Federation asked China to
submit documents that will further substantiate the ages of He Kexin, Yang
Yilin, Jiang Yuyuan, Deng Linlin and Li Shanshan.

The federation said it would forward its conclusions to the IOC. If it finds
evidence that the gymnasts were underage, it could affect four of China’s
six medals. In addition to the team gold and He’s gold on uneven bars, Yang
won bronze medals in the all-around and bars.

“It is in the interests of all concerned, not least the athletes themselves
, to resolve this issue once and for all,” the FIG said in a statement.
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So far, however, all the information the Chinese gymnastics federation has
presented supports its insistence that its athletes were old enough to
compete.

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

With the games wrapping up Sunday, the IOC wants to quickly end any
lingering doubts about underage competitors."


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