IOC Asks IGF to Investigate Ages of Chinese Female Gymnasts
Finally, a day late and a few gold medals short, the International Olympic Commitee (IOC) asked the International Gymnastics Federation (IGF) to investigate the age issue of the Chinese “women” gymnasts, specifically, He Kexin, Yang Yilin and Jiang YuYuang. The Epoch Times, a New York based international media source, revealed today that an official document was discovered indicating that China’s female gymnasts are underage.
Well, duh! Anyone with eyes could see that!
Even before the Olympics, the New York Times and Associated Press claimed to have proof that some of the Chinese girls were underage, but since their passports showed them to be of age, the Olympic Committee accepted them as valid and did nothing. Additionally, according to the Sports Forum Weekly, weeks before the Olympics, the IOC verified the required age documents provided by the Chinese in less than twenty minutes. The New York Times found Jiang YuYuang’s birthdate listed on Chinese sports registration lists and on ID card numbers that embed birthdates, which indicate she is 14. Registration lists previously posted on the Website of the General Administration of Sport of China, indicate Yang Yilin’s age as 14, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Despite this information, it wasn’t until the Epoch Times reported that a hacker had found incriminating documents that the IOC decided to take action. Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s Media Relations Manager in Beijing, emailed The Epoch Times that, in light of new evidence, “the IOC has therefore asked the International Gymnastics Federation to endeavor to find out more. We understand they are doing so immediately.”
A search engine hacker named “stryde.hax” found a “2006 Nationwide Gymnastics Registration Table,” dated February 20, 2006, and one from 2005, both listing birthdates and hometowns for Chinese gymnasts. According to this registration, He Kexin’s birthday is January 1, 1994, and Yang Yilin’s birthday is August 26, 1993. This would make He 14, and Yang 15 next week. Gymnasts must turn 16 within the Olympic year to qualify for the Olympics.
Cached documents found in Baidu, China’s search engine, indicating the girls’ real ages, have subsequently been removed.
According to the Epoch Times, The Chengdu Sports Bureau’s official website listed He Kexin’s birthdate as January 1, 1994. On May 23, 2006, The China Daily printed “This 14-year-old gymnast (He) joined the national team for training last year, but she has attracted enough attention in the past few months.” On November 3, 2007, The Xinhua News published a story on the “10 New Stars on the 6th Chengdu Sports Competition” and reported that He Kexin was 13 in 2007. “He Kexin, a 13-year-old athlete from Wuhan, competed against Yang Yiling, a representative from the national team. With the support of the audience, this little girl did a splendid air tumble routine and beat Yang Yiling, the bronze medallist of World Games . . . .” Xinhua has since deleted the report, although it is cached by the Google search engine. The passport of Jiang Yuyuan, another gymnast whose age is in dispute, lists her birthday as November 1, 1991. However, the New York Times reported that the athlete roster issued by Zhejiang Provincial Sports Bureau has a birthdate of October 1, 1993.
The Chinese Athletes Association says these Chinese news reports are inaccurate.
“stryde.hax” claims that when he searched again on Google for these documents, they came up without He Kexin’s name. The Epoch Times claims that when they searched Google shortly after stryde.hax found the documents, nothing came up at all.
Google may or may not be guilty of allowing its data to be rewritten by Chinese censors, according to stryce.hax. While stopping short of accusing Google of deleting documents relating to the Chinese girl’s ages, stryde.hax says that this information “is fast disappearing from the Internet.” He says all the documents he personally found have “gone down the memory hole.” Google has no comment on the matter and has not returned calls or emails to the Epoch Times.
These two gymnasts won four medals, He Kexin, a gold in the uneven bars (the event where she tied with Nastia Liukin) and Yang Lilin, bronze medals in the uneven bars and overall individual competition. They both also got gold medals in the team competition.
If He and Yang are indeed underage, that puts not only the individual medals in contention, which would give Nastia Liukin the gold for uneven bars, but also the team competition, which would mean the U.S. team gets the gold. Even if the IOC does disqualify these girls, and the medals are awarded to the proper winners, that is little consolation to the American gymnasts who were robbed of their moment in the gold medal spotlight. I personally feel that the entire Chinese team should be disqualifed as they are all complicit in this conspiracy, which would give Alicia Sacramone her deserved bronze in vault.
It is absolutely a travesty that the IOC didn’t do something when the New York Times and the Associated Press made their reports, and before a hacker discovered information that is evidently indisputable.
It’s also a travesty that the IOC ignored all those who have been telling them for over a year that the Chinese girls are underage. All you have to do is LOOK!
Why did anyone think that China was going to play fair? Why was China even awarded these Olympics?