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Are those Chinese Cheaters at it Again?


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This controversy has been raging for over a week now, surprised I haven't seen it yet on GB. This is about alleged illegally-aged Chinese competitors into international competitions over a number of past years. The International Skating Union (ISU) sets minimum age/birthdate limits for Senior international competitons and minimum and maximum age limits for Junior international competitions. For a number of skaters, the Chinese have supposedly falsified age records. This includes the pairs team Zhang/Zhang that competed at the 2002 Olympics when she was apparently too young, and at 2003 Junior World Championships when he was too old. It continues to other current competitors.

The original source material comes from Chinese records available on the internet, when compared to ages submitted to the ISU. In many cases two years of age difference. The Associated Press broke the story a few days ago, using some research started by fans at Figure Skating Universe website. This all started when a fan noticed a Chinese lady, Kexin Zhang, entered into the Four Continents Competition (currently underway in Taipei) who was below limits. She was removed from the lineup by the Chinese but fans dug deeper and now this has snowballed. The IOC and Jacques Rogge are aware of and have made (the usual milquetoast) statements.



And of course from the Chinese officially: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-02/18/c_13739087.htm There have been other statements insinuating that if there are age falsification issues, it's the parents that did it. It's interesting to note that on the Chinese websites, the majority of the comments from the public are acknowledging that age falsification is pretty much a given (not only in skating) and that the Federation officials and other govt components are to blame. Some public comments express shame, others anger, others shrug "so what."

Press conference on this was held yesterday in Beijing, apparently the Japanese media are now pursuing a line of investigation also. With great interest, as by holding to the ISU rules some of the Japanese skaters have lost out competition opportunities and medals, as have North American and European skaters.

It seems that the Chinese domestic source material has been taken off the internet, but many skating fans anticipated this and there are lots of archived screen shots out there. As some skating fans have said, in the run-up to 2012 and 2014 Olympics, in any sport with age limits, start looking for those tell-tale Chinese domestic information and news reports now, and take screen shots and log information, before we get to the next gymnastics-style controversy with the Chinese, and the evidence disappears.

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