The China Syndrome: State Sponsored Cheating

This blog will have some length to it, however I ask you bear with me as I build a case showing China has been cheating.

Records Say Chinese Gymnasts May Be Under Age

According to her passport, Jiang Yuyuan will be 17 in November. One list, however, has her at 14.

According to her passport, Jiang Yuyuan will be 17 in November. One list, however, has her at 14.

China named its Olympic women’s gymnastics team on Friday, and the inclusion of at least two athletes has further raised questions, widespread in the sport, about whether the host nation for the Beijing Games is using under-age competitors.

Chinese officials responded immediately, providing The New York Times with copies of passports indicating that both athletes in question — He Kexin, a gold-medal favorite in the uneven parallel bars, and Jiang Yuyuan — are 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility since 1997.

Officials with the International Gymnastics Federation said that questions about He’s age had been raised by Chinese news media reports, USA Gymnastics and fans of the sport, but that Chinese authorities presented passport information to show that He is 16.

Online records listing Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media, however, seem to contradict the passport information, indicating that He and Jiang may be as young as 14 — two years below the Olympic limit.

He Kexin is 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility, according to her passport.

He Kexin is 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility, according to her passport.

Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic all-around gymnastics champion at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, recently watched a competition video of He and other Chinese gymnasts on the uneven bars.

“The girls are so little, so young,” Retton said. Speaking of He, Retton rolled her eyes and laughed, saying, “They said she was 16, but I don’t know.”

An advantage for younger gymnasts is that they are lighter and, often, more fearless when they perform difficult maneuvers, said Nellie Kim, a five-time Olympic gold medalist for the former Soviet Union who is now the president of the women’s technical committee for the Swiss-based International Gymnastics Federation.

“It’s easier to do tricks,” Kim said. “And psychologically, I think they worry less.”

The women’s gymnastics competition at the Beijing Games, which begin Aug. 8, is expected to be a dramatic battle for the team gold medal between the United States and China. At the 2007 world championships, the Americans prevailed by 95-hundredths of a point.

On the uneven bars, He and Nastia Liukin of the United States are expected to challenge for the individual gold medal.

In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.

The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

There has been considerable talk about the ages of Chinese gymnasts on Web sites devoted to the sport. And there has been frequent editing of He’s Wikipedia entry, although it could not be determined by whom. One paragraph that discusses the controversy of her age kept disappearing and reappearing on He’s entry. As of Friday, a different version of the paragraph had been restored to the page.

The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 16 and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games.

Zhang Hongliang, an official with the Chinese gymnastics federation, said Friday that perhaps Chinese reporters and provincial sports authorities made mistakes in listing He’s and Jiang’s birth dates differently from the dates given on their passports.

“The two athletes have attended international sports competitions before, and I’m sure the information is correct,” Zhang said of the athletes’ passports.

The International Gymnastics Federation said it had contacted Chinese officials in May about the gymnasts’ ages after receiving inquiries from fans and reading newspaper accounts, including one in The China Daily, the country’s official English-language paper, stating that He was 14.

“We heard these rumors, and we immediately wrote to the Chinese gymnastics federation” about He, said André Gueisbuhler, the secretary general of the international federation. “They immediately sent a copy of the passport, showing the age, and everything is O.K. That’s all we can check.”

If someone provided proof that any gymnast was under age, or filed a formal complaint, Gueisbuhler said, he would be “quite happy to check and ask again.”

“As long as we have no official complaint, there is no reason to act, if we get a passport that obviously is in order,” he said.

Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics, said he had asked Kim of the international federation about He’s age after receiving e-mail messages referring to newspaper accounts and comments made on blogs and in Internet chat rooms that said she was 14. But Penny said he was not really concerned.

“If they have valid passports, bring ’em on,” Penny said. “If they say they’re good, we’re going to beat them.

“You can’t worry about it. You do your job, and you expect other people are doing theirs and you expect it’s a fair field of play.”

Privately, some gymnastics officials said that even if other countries had real concerns about the Chinese, they might be reluctant to make accusations for fear of reprisals by judges at the Beijing Games.

If it is true that under-age gymnasts are competing, Kim said: “It’s a bad thing. It should not be acceptable.”

Yang Yun of China won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later said in an interview on state-run television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games. A Hunan Province sports administration report also said later that she had been 14 when she competed in Sydney.

Bela Karolyi, who coached Retton of the United States and Nadia Comaneci of Romania to their Olympic gold-medal triumphs, said the problem of under-age gymnasts had been around for years. Age is an easy thing to alter in an authoritarian country, he said, because the government has such strict control of official paperwork.

He recalled Kim Gwang Suk, a North Korean gymnast who showed up at the 1991 world championships with two missing front teeth. Karolyi, who said he thought Kim must have been younger than 11 at the time, and others contended that those front teeth had been baby teeth and that permanent teeth had not yet replaced them. Her coaches said she had lost them years before, during an accident on the uneven bars.

At those world championships, Kim was 4 feet 4 inches and about 62 pounds, and she claimed to be 16. At one point, the North Korean Gymnastics Federation listed her at 15 for three straight years; the federation was later barred from the 1993 world championships for falsifying ages.

“Oh, come on, she was just in diapers and everyone could see that, just like some of the Chinese girls are now,” Karolyi said. “If you look close, you can see they still have their baby teeth. Little tiny teeth!”

But it is not likely that anyone could prove that the Chinese gymnasts are under age, Karolyi said.

“It’s literally impossible,” he said. “The paperwork is changed just too good. In a country like that, they’re experts at it. Nothing new.”

Now let’s look at another event where cheating has been raised: Shooting

Olympics: Chinese judges cheated, says veteran Aussie shooter

A judging row flared on the Olympic shooting ranges after Australian veteran Russell Mark alleged that Chinese judges had helped a local win the Double Trap bronze medal.

Mark, 44, the Atlanta Games gold medallist who finished fifth in the event on Tuesday, told the Australian media that local judges had awarded a hit to Chinese shooter Hu Binyuan even though he missed the target.

“One of them clearly he missed,” Mark was quoted as saying by his country’s media. “I don’t think anyone out there thought he hit it. If that had been for a gold medal, I would have been protesting.

“The referees have to be in unison but there was a lot of doubt about a lot of the shots out there.

“I’m glad it wasn’t for a gold medal because that is all that this Games would have been remembered for unfortunately.”

Asked if the judges deliberately ruled in Hu’s favour, Mark said: “I’d hate to think that but you get the feeling out there, when someone clearly misses, all the shooters out there can tell if he missed or hit it.

“Everybody stopped.”

Mark said the judges may have been influenced by the boisterous crowd of 10,000 that cheered the Chinese shooter on.

“The crowd were yelling and calling shots in and out,” he said. “It was like a circus out there. It would have been a brave Chinese judge that would have put his hand up (to signify a miss).”

There was no immediate reaction on Mark’s outburst from Games officials or the International Shooting Federation.

Mark, who returned to competitive shooting at these Games after turning to coaching over the last few years, stressed he was not using either the judging or the crowd noise as an excuse for his fifth place finish.

“The position I finished in is well above the position I am in the world,” said the Australian, whose final tally of 181 was three short of Hu’s 184.

“Unfortunately, the Chinese shooter was in front of me, so I had to wait every time after he shot before the noise died down.

“I am not using this as an excuse, but I don’t have much opportunity to practice in front of a crowd of 10,000.

“But I have learnt a lot today, it proves you can teach an old dog new tricks.”

The double trap event was won by American Walton Eller with a new Games record, despite being the youngest of the six finalists at 26.

World champion Francesco D’Aniello of Italy took the silver.

*MY THOUGHTS*

China said before these Olympics that their goal was to win more gold medals than any other country. I translate that as “We’re going to cheat…a lot.” And apparently that’s already happening.

It seems that China has two Olympic gymnasts who aren’t old enough to compete in the Olympics. You have to be at least 16 to compete in the Olympics, and the two Chinese gymnasts – He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan – are apparently both 14, according to information obtained by the New York Times.

Naturally, China got its panties in a knot when it heard the Times would be publishing the story and immediately faxed the paper copies of the two gymnasts passports that say they are both 16.

Fantastic. Only problem is that online records listing Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media, say that He and Jiang are in all likelihood 14. Way to cover your tracks you commie rats.

By the way, now might also be a good time to mention that He is a favorite to win gold in the uneven parallel bars. I know, I’m not shocked either.

And here’s another rather distressing thing. China’s actually done this before. In the 2000 Olympics they had a female gymnast who was 14 who won individual and team bronze medals. So, in other words, China shouldn’t have those bronze medals.

Now, the question is what’s going to be done about this? The answer is nothing. And that’s because the International Olympic Committee – which may be the most gutless and abysmally run organization on the planet – wouldn’t dare offend the country it granted the Games to. Hell, the IOC would probably make waterboarding a sport if China asked for it.

Now, you may be saying, man, you seem really pissed about this. And won’t other people be cheating in the Games as well, including Americans? Well sure, but for most athletes, cheating is a personally decision, or a decision they go through with a coach. It’s not something that’s state sponsored. However, in China it is. And that’s what makes me so pissed, combined with the fact that it’s state sponsored cheating being perpetuated on 14-year-old girls. That’s straight up sick.

Now about the shooting event incident, I would like to know; who runs the damn event, the spectators or the judges. I don’t care what nationality the judges are, they need to grow a set of balls and make the right calls. If the judges aren’t going to make the right calls and allow the populace to make them what the hell is the point in even having the event, hell even holding the Olympics.

If you can’t do the job, are unwilling to do it, or are being intimidated, then don’t be a damn judge. So it seems the STATE makes the calls. I wonder what the hell anyone was thinking by awarding these games to a COMMUNIST country. Where they really so blind or naive to believe there would be impartial , non biased judges? I certainly hope the global community has learned their lesson.

So anyway, there’s not much we can do except cheer our athletes on to kick China’s butt in these Olympics. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind if we cheated to do it. All we’d be doing is leveling the playing field anyway.


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~ by Digory Kirke on August 15, 2008.

One Response to “The China Syndrome: State Sponsored Cheating”

  1. Cheater’s Rap

    John Edwards talked about Dad’s mill,
    While sleeping with a chick off the pill,
    He lied and fibbed to the MS press,
    And, awoke early to preen and dress.

    His wife, Elizabeth, knew the lie in 2006,
    But supported John in Iowa while sick,
    They stole Hillary’s honest votes daily,
    And laughed on cue, and hiding Rielle.

    Why did John lie like a cheatin’ rat ?
    No “New Deal” for the average Democrat,
    While Obama and Hillary fought on the stump,
    John Edwards watched Rielle grow a bump.

    Now John’s love child is common news,
    And Fred Baron has money to lose,
    Rielle, now nursing, has jetted away,
    Even Geraldo has joined the fray!

    John’s affair has hurt his poor kids,
    More than Clinton’s cigars ever did,
    A sordid tale that some call a crock,
    The only winner, a loser named Barack!

    Like dogs in heat, Edwards did pant,
    Defined forever, just like Hugh Grant,
    Tabloids paid to get the sleaze,
    Is it John’s baby, mister please?

    Vote for John Edwards, give me chills,
    Meet you for sex in Beverly Hills,
    John, don’t need to prove you ain’t a gay,
    Just pony up to compare your DNA.

    See Barack in Hawaii like Bobby Vinton,
    Unaware the DNC plans to elect a Clinton,
    Edwards may face time from the tax man,
    But not if a pardon is part of Obama’s plan.

    While Elizabeth cries over her brood,
    Baby mama with John was not a prude,
    Gone the innocent days of Tom Sawyer,
    John gettin’ love like a real trial lawyer.

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