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Chinese gymnast underage in 2000 Olympics


gotosy

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After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the International Gymnastics Federation announced on Friday that a Chinese gymnast from the 2000 Olympics had been too young to compete.

The gymnast, Dong Fangxiao, a member of the Chinese women’s team that won the bronze medal, was found to have falsified her age in order to meet the requirements at those Olympics. The gymnastics federation said in a statement that Dong was actually 14, two years younger than the minimum. Her results at those Games and at several other major competitions have been revoked.

The federation — which goes by its French acronym, F.I.G. — submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee to strip the Chinese team of its Olympic bronze medal. If that happens, the United States women’s team, which finished fourth, will move into third place. The gymnasts on that squad were Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Kristen Maloney, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert

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Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., said the gymnastics federation’s recommendation to strip the Chinese of their medals would be studied by the I.O.C.’s executive board before any action was taken. That would probably happen at the board’s next meeting at the end of April, he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/sports/olympics/27gymnasts.html

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response from Chinese Gymnastics Association

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Gymnastics Association (CGA) on Saturday expressed strong regret to International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)'s sanction on former Chinese artistic gymnast Dong Fangxiao.

In a press release, the CGA said," From the concrete and objective evidence available, there is no problem in Dong Fangxiao's age and thereafter we feel greatly regret to FIG's sanction."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sports/2010-02/27/c_13190869.htm

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Watch the fur to fly over this one folks...the IOC will be guided by what the FIG recommend but of course it has a record of sitting on its collective arse doing jack shat about retro-awarding medals (they still haven't worked out what to do with Marion Jone's ill-gained medals), or going back further won't resolve what should occur with the DDR's drug-fuelled golds in the 70s and 80s. Plus the Chinese won't budge and can cause a shatstorm to fall on the FIG and within the IOC membership if they don't get what they want (i.e. the gold stays with their 2000 team).

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Watch the fur to fly over this one folks...the IOC will be guided by what the FIG recommend but of course it has a record of sitting on its collective arse doing jack shat about retro-awarding medals (they still haven't worked out what to do with Marion Jone's ill-gained medals), or going back further won't resolve what should occur with the DDR's drug-fuelled golds in the 70s and 80s. Plus the Chinese won't budge and can cause a shatstorm to fall on the FIG and within the IOC membership if they don't get what they want (i.e. the gold stays with their 2000 team).

I very much would like to see the Chinese stripped of medals won through cheating, which falsifying ages certainly is. As long as nothing is done by the FIG/IOC, the Chinese will take it as tacit approval that what they have been doing can continue. Believe me, this is the Chinese attitude--they will do whatever they can get away with. They did it again in 2008 with more than one underage gymnast on that team--and the sad thing is this isn't an individual running rogue a la Marion Jones, but an organized conspiracy with direct Chinese government involvement (to issue the official though faked paperwork, and to try to scrub past evidence clean). We are about to find out how much kiss-ass the IOC is to the Chinese....

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  • 2 weeks later...

China leaves underage gymnast in the cold

By John Leicester, AP Sports Columnist

PARIS — Used, perhaps abused and now tossed away. Chinese officials' treatment of Olympic gymnast Dong Fangxiao, found to have been underage when China fielded her at the Sydney Games in 2000, really makes the blood boil.

Despite China's official denials, accumulating evidence that Dong was just 14 when she competed on the team that won Olympic bronze now includes her personal CV, which says she was born Jan. 23, 1986.

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But the age ordeal seems to have presented a dilemma to the ex-gymnast whose promising career was abruptly cut short a year after Sydney by a crippling thighbone injury surely not helped by repeated painkilling injections reportedly given to her from 1998 onward when, according to the birth date on her CV, she was just 12.

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Yet while Dong has seemingly sought to keep up appearances, she is now being left out in the cold in China, where the top gymnastics administrator is trying to wriggle out of FIG and IOC sanction by shifting blame onto Dong.

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The repeated use of painkilling injections on Dong from a young age was reported by Chinese sports columnist Li Jun after he visited her at home in the northern city of Tangshan when she was convalescing in 2002 from multiple surgeries for what Chinese media widely identified as thighbone necrosis, or bone death. Starved of blood, the bone goes soft and chalky and, in late stages of the condition, eventually collapses. Overly intense athletic training and steroid use can both be causes.

"With any of these necrosis things, usually the joint has been hammered too much," says Russell.

Li reported on Sina.com, China's largest Internet portal, that Dong got her first injection after thigh pain started as a national squad member in 1998, that she was injected three or four more times in subsequent years and in March 2001 received two injections in three days. Li, speaking by phone to the AP, wasn't sure exactly what drugs were administered. Doctors say that if necrosis was setting in, Dong should simply have been rested.

"I don't know what the injections were but masking pain is always dangerous and especially dangerous in children," says Russell.

In May 2001, Dong got five golds at the East Asian Games in Japan and another two at the University Games three months later. Her last competition of 2001 and, it turned out, her last ever, was China's National Games, where she competed even though she told officials she was in pain.

Full article: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2010-03-12-1263849827_x.htm

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  • 1 month later...

IOC EB takes decisions on Chinese gymnast Dong Fangxiao

©SportAccord/Richard Juilliart

Further to the decision by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) last February to cancel all the results obtained by Chinese gymnast Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney as a consequence of violating the FIG Statutes and Regulations, the IOC Executive Board today decided to:

- withdraw and reallocate accordingly the diplomas of the athlete with respect to the women’s individual floor exercises, in which she placed sixth, and the women’s individual vault, in which she placed seventh;

- withdraw and reallocate accordingly the medals and diplomas of the Chinese women’s team, in which Dong Fangxiao participated, namely, the women’s team event, in which the team placed third.

As a consequence, the US women’s team will be awarded the bronze medal for the women’s team event.

The FIG conducted an inquiry which showed that the athlete was only 14 years old during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, whereas the FIG qualification rules for these Games required that an athlete be at least 16 years old in the year of the Olympic Games. The FIG subsequently disqualified her from all events in which Dong Fangxiao participated in Sydney, namely, the women’s team event; the women’s individual floor exercises; the women’s individual vault; the women’s individual uneven bars; the women’s individual all-around, and the women’s individual balance beam.

IOC

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There surely was more than one athlete underage. I don't believe for one minute that she was the only one. Falsifying birth certificates isn't that dfficult, especially in China, where there is a will.

I hope that the FIG gets serious about these under-age athletes.

It is cheating of the first order.

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There surely was more than one athlete underage. I don't believe for one minute that she was the only one. Falsifying birth certificates isn't that dfficult, especially in China, where there is a will.

I hope that the FIG gets serious about these under-age athletes.

It is cheating of the first order.

Agree with this on all counts. Also, I wouldn't close the book entirely on 2008, where there were absolutely underage gymnasts used. I don't think we've heard the very last on this, and oddly enough, I think the "smoking gun" will come out from within China somewhere. Keep an eye out over the next few years.

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Agree with this on all counts. Also, I wouldn't close the book entirely on 2008, where there were absolutely underage gymnasts used. I don't think we've heard the very last on this, and oddly enough, I think the "smoking gun" will come out from within China somewhere. Keep an eye out over the next few years.

Totally agree!

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BEIJING — The Chinese Gymnastics Association said Thursday it is "pained" by the ruling to strip its women's team of a bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics for using an underage athlete but respects the decision.

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"We are pained over this incident. We will learn a lesson and further strengthen all kinds of administrative work on athletes and resolutely prevent a similar incident from happening again," the Chinese association said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency. "The attitude and stance of the Chinese Gymnastics Association is completely the same as that of the IOC."

News that China was losing its bronze over age falsification was reported only briefly in the country's entirely state-run media. Such an incident is considered hugely embarrassing to the communist government in the sports-crazy country that puts heavy emphasis on Olympic achievement.

The Chinese statement did not say who was responsible for the apparent age falsification or whether the gymnastics association was involved.

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Age falsification has been a problem in gymnastics since the 1980s, when the minimum age was raised from 14 to 15 to help protect still-developing athletes from serious injuries. The FIG raised the minimum age to its current 16 in 1997.

The issue drew worldwide attention in 2008, when media reports and Internet records suggested some of the girls on China's gold-medal-winning Olympic team could have been as young as 14.

A FIG probe cleared the Beijing gymnasts and closed the case in October 2008, but the organization said it wasn't satisfied with "the explanations and evidence provided to date" for Dong.

The federation didn't find sufficient evidence to prove that a second Sydney gymnast, Yang Yun, was underage; instead, it gave her a warning.

AP

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