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USOC supports gymnastics probe

Jim Scherr meets with reporters after Friday's news conference. BEIJING -- The U.S. Olympic Committee, holding its end-of-Games news conference a bit early, said Friday that it was backing the International Olympic Committee's request that the international gymnastics federation look into "a number of questions and discrepancies" regarding the age of several Chinese gymnasts.

The IOC said Friday that it had requested FIG -- as the international gymnastics federation is known for the French version of its name -- re-examine documents that state the girls' ages as 16. A series of articles, most recently by the Times of London, cited documents that put their ages as 14.

"We believe that in fairness to all the athletes in that competition the IOC and the international federation for gymnastics should take measures to ensure that that issue is put to rest one way or the other," said Jim Scherr, chief executive of the USOC.

"In that interest we sent a letter to the IOC and international federation today asking them to expeditiously resolve this issue in fairness to all the athletes and the interest of the integrity of that competition.

"So with the news that we’ve heard recently we do believe that the IOC is going in that direction. We hope they follow through and look forward to a quick resolution."

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Jim Scherr speaks to the media following the USOC end of the Olympics news conference at the Main Press Center during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire

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Comments (5)

What is remarkable are the blinders donned by the relevant Olympic committees--both the IOC and the Gymnastics committee--about this scam. The investigation was prompted not by the IOC but by a blogger who merely used extant records and Google's translation tools to document that He Kexin's age is 14, not 16. Even beyond that, how extraordinary that He Kexin's mother is "on vacation" and "can't be reached (not even to see her own daughter perform in the Olympics!!!);" that He could not readily account for what she did on her 16th birthday; that He's coach claims never to have met He's mother (and He has been in training since she was at least 4); that identity cards have surfaced showing that He's age is two years younger than that specified on her passport; that a corrupt state apparatus exists that would have no scruples about issuing a passport with a falsified age (and a corrupt IOC to merely accept such a claim despite what to plain view is not a 16 year old); that there are numerous earlier accounts indicating that He's age this year as 14 and not 16; etc. etc. Because of it's knee-jerk corruption and tendency for doctoring the truth, China will be remembered more for this ugly cheating than the beauty of the opening ceremonies (with their own cover ups) and the bird's nest's architecture. What a shame!

what loser USA, if you could not compet, just say it, buy althlets from other country, cheat identify all come from US, US olympic team shoudl ask him self,what is wrong with our team rather question the competition result, sham on US woman gym team, sham on USOC

Our US girls look awfully muscular compared to gymnasts from Romania, China and Russia, could they be on ..... Maybe we should investigate!

This age controversy was only stirred up by some US media because of jealousy and ignorance. Now even HACKER got involved in this campaign. How desperate! Since when hacker discovery of some faulty government web pages can be treated as solid "evidence"? How painful is losing the gold medal race!

It's so convenient to denounce Chinese government media at one time, then treated it as the most authoritative at another (100% correctness?!). Those posted age information was just the mistakes made by some lazy or careless Chinese reporters or web page creators. How about those Chinese web sites reported correct age information? They were conveniently ignored by the US media.

Here we observe vividly the double standards US media has over China. When an American is accused of doing some doping thing, etc, they ask for being considered as innocent unless proved otherwise. Now, they just stir up this media hysteria and presumed Chinese guilty unless proved otherwise.

An old video circulated on Chinese web sites clearly showed that those girls were recruited when China was awarded Olympics and it mentioned they would be 16 years old in 2008.

BTW, many Chinese girls do look very young comparing to Westerners, and some even appear younger than most other Chinese girls. If you don't know that, you have not seen enough. To most Americans, all Chinese gymnastists in the team look like under 16 years old, not just those three being suspected. There are Chinese girls in their 20s look like 14-year-old to even Chinese.

All the issues about underage Chinese gymnasts aside (and this issue should bare the weight of complete review). The biggest issue in the Olympics is - why are there "professional" athletes in the Olympics? Especially basketball and tennis!
The original Olympic rules, as I understand them, are that if a person has "EVER" received compensation or support for their training or participation in the sport in question, they are ineligible as an "AMATUER" athlete.
This is the ultimate travesty of the Olympics. Cold War rhetoric is still part of the Olympics and should be eliminated.
If a person has ever accepted payment i.e. housing, food, clothes, transportation, cash, etc. there should be a review committee to establish whether the amateur status of the athlete is compromised.
If a person has ever received payment for competition in the sport in question, they are not amateur and should ALWAYS be excluded from the Olympics - NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!
This does not mean that young athletes should not receive support from individuals, governments, corporations or friends, but that support should be limited to survival level sustenance while training.
For example: Le Bron James should have been banned from High School basketball – not to mention the Olympics.
So, (arguably, and regrettably) the Chinese snuck a 14 year old girl into the gymnastics competition? Though that demonstrates collusion to defraud, nothing defines “collusion to defraud” as clearly as the word “capitalism.


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