Dong Fangxiao stripped of Olympic medal
The Chinese got busted. Do we really think this is the only violation?
Chinese sports fans reacted with anger to the news that gymnast Dong Fangxiao had been stripped of her Olympic medal. But their ire was directed at the Chinese government, not the International Olympic Committee.
“Cry for Dong Fangxiao, Victim of the Sports System” read the headline on today’s post by Li Jiayang, sports columnist on the popular Netease web portal.
“Competing for her local team in the Chinese National Games, she damaged her knee permanently, in order to win an Olympic medal for the national team, her age was hidden (I don’t dare to use the word ‘falsify’ which may cause trouble)” Mr. Li wrote, “and she has been humiliated. It’s enough to make you cry.”
On Wednesday, the IOC resolved a decade-old scandal with its decision to strip China of a gymnastics bronze medal from the Sydney Olympics for fielding an under-age gymnast.
The women’s team bronze will now go to the US team, following a finding that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 when she competed for China in Australia, two years younger than the minimum allowed.
That’s small consolation for the US team. Those girls were robbed of their shining moment by a system built on cheating.
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.