IOC launching probe into He Kexin's age

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International Olympic Committee launches probe into He Kexin's age - Times Online

The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning gymnastics star because she was too young to compete.
An IOC official told The Times that because of "discrepancies" that have come to light about the age of He Kexin, the host nation’s darling who won gold in both team and individual events, an official inquiry has been launched that could result in the gymnast being stripped of her medals.
The investigation was triggered as a US computer expert claimed today to have uncovered Chinese government documents that he says prove she is only 14 - making her ineligible to compete in the Olympics - rather than 16, as officials in Beijing insist is her age.
Mike Walker, a computer security expert, told The Times how he tracked down two documents that he says had been removed from a Chinese government website. The documents, he said, stated that He’s birth date was January 1 1994 - making her 14 - and not January 1 1992, which is printed in her passport. (story continued - International Olympic Committee launches probe into He Kexin's age - Times Online)
I am kind of surprised about this. I figured the IOC mght not investiate after their kind of "case closed" response earlier. But that is interesting. I feel bad for He, but I can't condone cheating. It's just terrible to know a young girl will be caught at the center of it.
I am so glad they are looking into this it was very unfair when everyone else plays by the rules. If age was ot a factor Nastia could possibly have been at her 2nd Olympics defending her title. I do feel very bad for He as she was only doing her job as it was told to her by the powers that be. She will be the one hurt in the whole deal.
I'm glad they are actually going to look into the ages of some of the competitors. I feel bad for the girls that have worked hard and earned them but at the same time I feel bad for the people that have followed the rules. If they are infact not 16, I hope they do strip the medals not only because they didn't follow the rules but maybe they won't do it again.
Would China be stripped of the team gold as well ???? I really do feel bad for the girls though - you know they have no say. They are amazing gymnasts caught in the middle of corruption.
I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that the team medals would also be stripped and given to the usa. Its one of those things where if one person messes up the group is punished.
I hope that this is truely taken sseriously, and if it is found that she was not of age that the USA be awarded the gold for team and Bars.


As our one of our coaches told the girls that were cheating on their conditioning : Cheaters live in China.
IAs our one of our coaches told the girls that were cheating on their conditioning : Cheaters live in China.

What? That is an absolutely horrible thing to say! I hate to say it, but because of some of the comments I read on this very board, I am ashamed to be called an American - no wonder we have such a bad rep in other countries....
Are they only looking into He, or are they investigating Jiang Yuyuan, Yang Yilin, and Deng Linlin as well? To me, I'd say Deng and Yang appear younger than He, but that's just me.

I am glad IOC is addressing this, but I have said before that if they are actually innoceny I fell terrible that they have had to go through all of this.

As for medals being stripped: I don't know if an 'official inquiry' was made in 1992, but Kim Gwan Suk later was banned (with the rest of her team) from the 1993 worlds for cheating and admitted to being underage, and was never stripped of her Olympic title.
As our one of our coaches told the girls that were cheating on their conditioning : Cheaters live in China.

I think that's a really upsetting generalization to make. There are very many hardworking Chinese people and just because of the actions of relatively few high level officials in a sport it is so presumptuous to put down a culture as a whole. Also, it's not particularly accurate, since it seems apparent that generally, cheaters live all over. I have a lot of problems with the kind of systematic control that leads to situations like this, but to implicate the character of a child like He Kexin with gross generalizations like that in front of other children crosses the line for me. If I heard someone I worked with say that in front of the kids, I doubt I would be able to hold my tongue.
We should not judge the china gymnast, they probably can't help what happened (if they are underage) IT's a communist country! It they are told to preform, the have to preform. No questions asked! It's the coaches/country officials that are to blame. i feel sorry for the china team! But if the IOC laws were broken they should suffer the consequences!
I am glad they are investigating as well. I feel that China needs to be held accountable if they falsified these documents so that girls who were too young could compete. I feel bad for the girls involved. None of this was their choice. They have worked hard and are amazing gymnasts.

If the allegations are true shame on China - not just for cheating - but for what they did to these girls.
Here is another article from Yahoo about the investigation. I did the bolding, when they talk about stripping He's gold medals, I am taking it that they would strip the whole Chinese team of the team medal, right? Along with the bars.

"The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into the age of Chinese gymnast He Kexin, The Times of London reports. Faced with almost insurmountable evidence which suggests that He is two years younger than the birth date listed on her Chinese passport, the IOC has launched an inquiry that could result in the stripping of He's gold medals.

This news comes on the heels of another Times report that details the findings of a New York computer security expert who found official Chinese documents that list He's age as 14 years and 220 days. Mike Walker used a Chinese search engine's cache feature to find He's actual date of birth on spreadsheets from a Chinese government website. The spreadsheets were taken down off the site recently and He's name had been removed.

Assuming the IOC is committed to a real investigation and not some dog and pony show, the revelation that the Chinese government covered up the ages of gymnasts could end up being the defining moment of these Games for the host country. Officials wanted the Olympics to be a coming out party for a new China. But while the Games have been a huge success, there is a legitimate possibility that China's legacy from Beijing '08 will be that of a massive government cover-up, not the magical Opening Ceremony or the transformation of Beijing or anything else positive.

All the good work China did to put on these Olympics could be forgotten because of an unnecessary, arrogant move by the government. Why risk everything to put a 14-year old in the competition when they could have replaced her with an of-age 16-year old gymnast? Sure, He is a better gymnast than the Chinese gymnasts who were eligible to compete, but with the judges they had at the Olympics, would it really have mattered?"
Knowing what my daughter's coach said was not right, and that even Bela has said that European countries have changed the ages of their gymnasts so that they were able to compete in other events, the Chinese government is sadly opening themselves for these games to be remembered by some as the games with the massive government cover-ups (like the Yahoo article says). Look at the controversy that came out after the opening ceremonies, by not allowing the one girl that actually sang the song to be in them because she was "not pretty enough". What message is that sending ?
i agree with mom2kazkids about China saying the little girl who sang at the opening ceremonies was not "pretty enough"! that was horrible, personally I thought she was an adorable, normal kid. just such a sad case for all involved!
the Chinese government is sadly opening themselves for these games to be remembered by some as the games with the massive government cover-ups (like the Yahoo article says).

I think the Chinese government has been opening themselves up for a lot of things for quite some time now, and the Olympics just served to put a spotlight on some of the more controversial examples of government intervention. It was controversial that China even got the bid.

As far as toxic messages about female appearance, sadly those seem to be ubiquitous and thinly veiled the world over. I agree that they aren't good messages, but perhaps the most disappointing thing is that it's not too hard to imagine the exact same set of choices playing out in my own country. In fact, I feel relatively certain in many similar ways, it already has. It's important for us to reject the faulty reasoning for such toxic choices where we see it, but I don't think we should be under the illusion that our own culture is any more evolved from the image obsession.
OK- Deep breath here. It's upseting to me to read much of what has been said.

I am always proud to be an American, always. When we mess up, we are human. When people say or do things (legally) that I don't agree with, I am thankful to be able to voice my opinion. When people say things like the coach said, it is because these countries have a history, long and documented, of the ends justifying the means. Do I blame the gymnasts, no way, they are trying to provide a future for their families. Do I believe they are of age? No way. Should there be age rules, I don't know, but should every country follow the rules as they exist, absolutely.

After all the controversy in the judging, the committee has to do something. The whole situation is making the sport look less than fair.

We live in a very open society. It would be impossible for these things to happen here. Our records for better or worse follow us from birth. Hospitals, doctors, schools etc. It seems whenever these things happen, it is always a forgein country, and usually an exceptional athlete (remember the little league thing a few years ago?). The truth is as my favorite tag line states, gymnatics isn't always fair, but when obvious rules are broken, it can't be a sport if they aren't enforced.

Watching the JO Nationals, the USA has some tremendous talent, and if we follow the rules, some girls will never have their shot to compete at their prime. Is that fair if the rule isn't enforced?

Lastly I want you all to know that even if I don't agree with you, I love reading your opinions!!!
I really doubt China cares how they look to the rest of the world, as long as the olympics are a success which they have been. If they actually cared they wouldn't have sent so many underaged gymnasts, or atleast would have made chosen underage girls who look 16. This whole thing was a big s*** you to the rest of the world, that we can do whatever we want and not get caught. I really hope they strip them of their medals if they find evidence and really teach them a lesson.

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