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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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technology
By Screwballl on 8/21/2008 10:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
Its about time technology steps up and plays a part in archiving this information, just as this person found. Even when there is national corruption such as with the Chinese govt, this type of thing always finds a way to get found out.
Add on top of this the obvious favoritism with many of the Chinese gymnasts and other events (I have watched almost all of the competitions with the wife), many of the judges are being bought off or otherwise compromised. This is happening in multiple events where there is "judge" based scoring, so it is not just gymnastics.
I watched these events where the Chinese screwed up again and again and again yet they still received a higher score than the "nearly" perfect routines of the Americans. Same was happening with the diving last night.
That is why I like the "score" or time based competitions where there is almost no way to fudge the numbers across the board (volleyball, track, swimming), this it the way the "judge" based competitions should be run. Or at least a secretive jury type of oversight group that can add deductions if the judges scored them too high such as the case with multiple Chinese gymnasts.
Technology is making it so the average person at home can see the screwups and should be able to call "bullocks".




RE: technology
By myocardia on 8/21/2008 11:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Technology is making it so the average person at home can see the screwups and should be able to call "bullocks".


Someone (that would be you) just did, and I agree completely.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser











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