Chinese gymnasts’ age investigation ramps up

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BEIJING -- The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) just announced that it would ask the Chinese gymnastics federation to ‘submit further documents’ to clarify the ages of three women gymnasts whose Olympic eligibility has been questioned.

The names of gymnasts He Kexin, Yang Yilin and Jiang Yuyuan have appeared on various government documents with birth dates that differed from the passports submitted to FIG last February. The IOC rule requires gymnasts to be 16 or to turn 16 this year in order to qualify for participation in the Beijing Games.

Earlier Friday the International Olympic Committee requested that FIG again review information on those passports. Despite information published by several media sources including the Los Angeles Times last month, FIG officials previously had said they were satisfied with the passports submitted by the Chinese gymnastics federation.

But after a Times of London story, relying on the same documents, appeared Friday, the IOC requested that FIG recheck the information.


-- Diane Pucin