China official claims bad paperwork

The regarding the age of Chinese gymnasts at the Olympics continues.

China’s deputy sports minister has attributed the confusion about the age of one of its gold medalist gymnasts to a paperwork mistake during a team transfer.

At last year’s China’s Cities Games, Chinese officials decided to move He Kexin, who won two gold medals during the Beijing Games, from a local team to the national team. China’s deputy sports minister Cui Dalin said Sunday that it was during this transfer that a “misunderstanding appeared” about her age.

“Last year at the all-city competition, He Kexin moved from one team to another and during the process of registering during the move, there appeared this age discrepancy,” Cui said during a news conference.

“So it was the appearance of a mistake in the process of transferring teams that the misunderstanding appeared. However, I can right here accurately say that the ages of the members of our gymnastics delegation entirely conform to the requirements for participation in the Beijing Olympic Games.”

It was at last year’s China’s Cities Games that the Chinese government’s news agency, Xinhua, identified He as one of “10 big new stars” who made a splash at the event and gave her age as 13 in a Nov. 3, 2007 report.

Does anyone really believe this? Does anyone believe China wouldn’t cheat? They’ve never hidden their obsession with winning gold medals.

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