Stupid idea

Starting January 1, 2009, the International Gymnastics Federation is going to issue licenses to all gymnasts representing their countries at most international meets.

This will supposedly  “give the FIG proof of an athlete’s age long before he or she shows up at an Olympics or world championships.” Um, how is it going to do this? The birth date will be based on passports, so any country that wants to cheat can do what China did at the Olympics this year.

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Most gullible person in world – IOC President Jacques Rogge

If you have been following, you may have noticed that there has been a major controversy about the ages of the Chinese women girl gymnasts.

Several days ago, the IOC asked for another investigation into this matter. Now Rogge is saying that the paperwork that China submitted for this investigation appears to back up the original determination that the gymnasts were old enough to compete.

How can anybody be so naive and gullible to think that countries would not falsify passports (especially since China was caught using an underage gymnast before)?

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Age of Chinese “women” gymnasts

There have been many reports in the media recently that several of China’s female Olympic gymnasts are under the minimum age required to be eligible for the Olympics.  In fact, the Chinese media has reported that one of the gymnasts is now 13 or 14, even though an athlete has to turn 16 sometime during the year of the Olympics to be eligible.

The problem now is that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not do anything because they rely on passports to verify age.  The passports of the athletes in question show that they are eligible to compete. The IOC has apparently not grasped the fact that If a government is truly willing to win at all costs, then it can easily issue passports with a false date of birth.

One of the commenters in a previous post (8/13/08, 7:45 pm) suggested that they test bone tissue or the teeth to verify age. I did a Google search on “determining age children bone tissue” and “determining age children teeth” and these do seem to be fairly good tests (though if the child is 15, the tests could indicate that s(he) is 16 and vice versa.)

In my opinion, the use of what appears to be 11-12 year olds is morally much worse than athletes taking steroids and other prohibited substances. In other words, if they are going to test for drugs, they need to verify athletes’ ages.  Unfortunately, it appears that the IOC will do nothing.

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