back to article Hacker unearths young Chinese gymnast scam

A search engine hacker has uncovered fresh evidence that the Chinese women's gymnastic team cheated by fielding underage competitors. Doubts surfaced even before the competition that as many as half the members of the six-strong team - who won China's first ever team gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last week - are far …


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  1. Philip Nicholls Silver badge

    ‘Hacker unearths young Chinese gymnast scam’

    ... And... ??

  2. thomasthetanker


    If they can't tell the difference between a 14 year old and a 16 year old then Gary Glitter is collecting his ticket as we speak

  3. Shaun Roe

    'Chinese bend over backwards to attract ageing British Rocker'

    'nuff said.

  4. Jon

    Imagine if america did this

    ...some kids would burn a bunch of cars in a riot.

    China does this... "these are not the documents you are looking for"

    Penguin, because open source is communism really.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    IOC Fat cats

    Nothing new here, IOC never get involved or care what the local organising committees do. As along the sponsors and broadcasters are happy, they simply don't give a damn. A bunch of fat cats taking back handers at every turn. IOC are in fact worse then most giant corporations, in terms how they apply their rules. They are a law onto themselves answerable to no one. Unfortunately IOC care little about sports and the athletes who take part in them.

  6. Gordon Pryra

    The irony

    " "and I believe that united they will be able to make state-sponsored censorship a thing of the past."

    Awefull hypocrisy comming from anyonme in the UK or USA

  7. Duffy

    Stand up to the dragon

    I don't know why so many people and organizations are afraid to deal with China and just tell them "China stop cheating or stomping all over human rights". For the IOC to say we don't do check ID's at the door is a cop out. I guess the IOC president doesn't mind when competitors are caught doping either.

  8. Darren Sandford
    Paris Hilton


    Not even the UK or US has managed to make a massacre of students by tanks in a main square in one of their capital cities vanish.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old enough to dive....

    But our 14yr old diver was OK?

    Doubly hypocritical given how much diving is like gymnastics.

  10. MrGutts
    Paris Hilton


    Sooo basically China proved that the younger less experienced Gymnast can whoop the shit out of the older 16 and 18 year olds. If the U.S. did it, we would loose. It's hard enough for the 16-18 years olds to keep it together mentally, they break down to easy.

  11. Dan Wright
    Thumb Up

    @ thomasthetanker


  12. The Badger

    Re: The irony

    "Awefull (sic) hypocrisy comming (sic) from anyonme (sic) in the UK or USA"

    Yes, because everyone in the UK and USA obviously agrees implicitly with state-sponsored censorship, even those people who didn't vote for the policies of the current administrations or previous ones, and especially those who protest against such things.

    Fair criticism of unjust behaviour should not be governed by the extension of idiotic "they're all the same" and "the people are in one mind with the glorious leader" labelling to every nation from those whose propaganda machines deliver and provoke such messages and responses with enthusiasm, in such a way that no-one can point the finger at anyone without the kind of whining about "hypocrisy" that we see here. In fact, fair criticism and mature debate are all about eliminating such intellectually lazy generalisations, seeing the diversity of opinion everywhere, and recognising that a valid complaint is still valid regardless of where it came from.

    Living in the same country as a bunch of people who want to censor lots of stuff of legitimate interest to the general public shouldn't undermine one's right to criticise that behaviour wherever one sees it. Unless, of course, you subscribe to the one-dimensional "political situations for idiots" (or "how to think of world politics as a bunch of sports teams") worldview mentioned above.

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Dumbing down

    'uneven bars'? didn't it used to be 'asymmetric bars'?

  14. Jared Earle

    He Kexin

    Yes, she's underage and yes, it's appalling state-sponsored fraud and yes, it's bordering on child cruelty, but damn, that girl can swing on them bars.

    She'll be 18 in 2012 and, all going well, will be fit to compete in London.

    Before these Olympics, I had zero interest in gymnastics, but the amazing shows by the Chinese (three underage stars?) and the Americans made for excellent entertainment.

    Oh, and the Chinese lie and censor it on the internet? How is this news again?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    ... or maybe the UK and US are much better at making a massacre of students by tanks in a main square in one of their capital cities vanish ... from what I've seen its about as easy to find any evidence of this as it is to find an elephant (with painted toenails) in a cherry tree

  16. Dan Maudsley

    Beth Tweddle

    Hmm, if the Chinese girl was disqualified, then Britain's Beth Tweddle would get bronze.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    @ @Gordon

    How can you tell?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @an underage gymnast

    Given that something like 32,692.7 world records have been broken (and in some cases absolutely pissed on) at these Olympics already I suspect that there are more important cheaty based shenanigans to be looking into than the age of a couple of gymnasts.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    "one of their capital cities vanish ".....

    Like the US of Good ol A have made New Orleans vanish so they don't have to worry about re-building it?

    TBH, the USA can't throw stones, because of the disgusting way the ppl of New Orleans have been treated.

    As for making people vanish? Guantanamo? Extraordinary rendition?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    No surprise

    Hmm China up to naughty tricks in sport again, anyone remember the Aussie customs catching their swimming team red handed carrying a load of human growth hormone. I would wager that there is a national doping program.

    Why St Bill, because he never did anything underhand at M$ (cough)

  21. Jared Earle

    @Dan Maudsley

    Why not go the whole hog and get Yang Yilin banned as well as she's allegedly underage, too.

    Beth would then get silver.

    She should have got Bronze as it was; her performance was much more dynamic and exciting than Yang Yilin's safe-but-tidy routine. Much like Horton's silver should have been gold, being Chinese at these Olympics is worth a few tenths.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Jared Earle

    I think your mate Gary might want somewhere to bunk down for a couple of nights, could you pick him up from Heathrow later ?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or maybe she is 16 and it was the other document that was falsified

    It seems unlikely, but we can't leap to the obvious conclusion that her real age is 14 because the original document was correct. It's possible (as many other web commentators have pointed out) that the documents that have recently been found are the false ones - they relate to a local competition that requires the entrants to be between 13 and 15, so she could have had her age *lowered* to compete in these competitions. It doesn't mean that there aren't age shenanigans going on, but don't jump to conclusions just because it's what everyone else is saying.

    Others (I believe I read an interview with a coach for a former Soviet union country - no link now sorry) have noted that this has happened for other countries in the past. It doesn't make it right, but pointing the finger at China without recognising that others do it to is just another kind of hypocrisy.

    Re: JonB, I believe the contradiction is explained by the decision that, for many gymnastic events, being younger than 16 confers certain advantages that older competitors don't have (I guess it's something to do with weight/muscle ratios), but also that the training required to compete at Olympic levels can seriously damage the physical development of the body at that age. Presumably, the Olympic committees have decided that this is not the case for diving.

  24. gizmo23

    massacre of students

    Does anyone remember Kent state?

  25. Solomon Grundy

    @Ian Bonham

    What the devil are you ranting about? New Orleans is still there, and just as shitty as it always was. It was a dump before, it's still a dump, and will always be a dump. The people in New Orleans treat themselves poorly - they don't need help from anyone else.

  26. Charles Silver badge

    @Mike Richards

    "Asymmetric bars" was an improper name. They are indeed symmetric along two axes--along a line that intersects both bars halfway and along a parallel line exactly halfway between them. Thus the term "uneven"--describing that each bar is a different height and thus not "even" to each other.

  27. Charles Silver badge


    People become less flexible as they age--simple human biology. Younger ladies thus possess more natural flexibility and are better capable of bending themselves as needed for gymnastics events (which on the women's side usually place an emphasis on flexibility and agility--for the men, there's an added focus on strength).

  28. RRRoamer


    "Not even the UK or US has managed to make a massacre of students by tanks in a main square in one of their capital cities vanish."

    Of course, to the best of my knowledge we haven't HAD a massacre of students by tanks in a main square in the US or UK. Of course, if we DID have one and they really DID cover it up very, very well, would I know???

  29. Matt


    Great UK re-action there. Can't look at kids unless your a perv.

  30. Eduard Coli

    Nothing new under the People's sun

    China using underage labor to cheat, no really?

    The PRC already enriches the inner circle by using underage labor to make shoddy expensive goods for the West, why not for the Olympics?

    IOC President Jacques Rogge is an arrogant effete ass and should get the chop before new years.

    The IOC in general as it is currently formed should be ripped apart and replaced.

  31. Richard Johnson

    Beth Tweddle

    So where do we start the campaign to get Beth Tweddle the bronze she should have won in the uneven bars were it not for the Chinese winner cheating?

  32. tim morrison
    Thumb Up

    Frankie Says

    Quote from Frankie Boyle - "Watching gymnastics is just like paedophilia for cowards..."

    Maybe the IOC allow it because it gives 'em big stiffies.....

  33. RRRoamer


    "TBH, the USA can't throw stones, because of the disgusting way the ppl of New Orleans have been treated.."

    The "disgusting way" they were treated, huh??? Care to add some details on what exactly these disgusting treatments were???

    Let's recap, shall we?

    1) The city is BELOW sea level.

    2) It sits right next a HUGE freaking river.

    3) The FEDERAL money that has poured into that city for DECADES to upgrade and reinforce the levies was DIVERTED by local city officials (most socialist Democrats no less) for "other" purposes because, hey, the levies were holding up NOW, so why bother making them better???

    4) The people in general didn't have a CLUE how to take care of themselves. Or each other.

    5) The local governments didn't have a CLUE how to take care of the citizens.

    6) Federal agencies COULD NOT help out until ASKED to by the local governments. In case you have forgotten, the USA is actually a REPUBLIC and NOT a DEMOCRACY. The Federal government doesn't have the authority NOR the responsibility to manage local issues. But they CAN help if asked. If I remember, it was several DAYS after all this started before the governor actually asked for assistance.

    7) BILLIONS of dollars where POURED into this little below sea level hole by the US government, US citizens, other governments and other people of the world. Heck, foreign governments contributed 850 million dollars in aid alone. The US government over 70 billion and growing.

    Yup. We REALLY mistreated these folks.

    Now compare this to the recent flooding of the Mississippi river. Whole towns were wiped off the map. Did you see all the same crap that came out of New Orleans? Murder? Rape? Theft? Cries of "government didn't save us!!!"??? 24/7 press coverage for the first year???



    Because THEY actually KNEW the job of looking after their own skins rested SQUARELY on THEIR shoulders. Not the Mayor's. Not the Governor's. Not the President's. THEIR shoulders.

    And they actually DID take care of themselves. And they took care of their neighbors. And even people they had never met, but needed help. You had people filling sand bags to build emergency levies to protect someone else's home after their own home had been destroyed! And they would make comments like "There is nothing I can do for my home, so I might as well help protect this one."

    Of course, the TV coverage of this flood ended almost before the flood waters dropped. No story here. No raping. No murders. No whole sale looting. Why, these people are actually WORKING TOGETHER to save what they can! There is no story here.

    So Ian, as one American that was totally appalled (if not surprised) by how the whole Katrina thing played out, let me be the first to say: Up yours.

  34. spam

    massare - US or UK - IDIOTS !!!

    anyone who says that the US or UK had a massacre of students is an idiot.

    If that happened here there would be mass rioting and the government would have major problems trying to stay in power.

    Its about time someone stands upto the Chinese and tells them to stop cheating and treating us all like shit

  35. Anonymous Coward


    It's the UK didn't you know you are now guilty until proven innocent ?

    Davenport Lyons anyone ?

  36. Michael

    @ Ian Bonham

    >>>TBH, the USA can't throw stones, because of the disgusting way the ppl of New Orleans have been treated.

    You're right, it's absolutely disgusting that the federal government dumped millions of tax dollars into a city that is below sea level next to the ocean, just to cover for the people that didn't have flood insurance.

    Yup, it's completely disgusting.

    The people of New Orleans should have packed up and moved to higher ground - ground that was kept dry by nature, rather than by old, poorly maintained STATE operated levees. The STATE government should have done something with the millions of dollars of relief materials the federal government put at their disposal, but they didn't.

    But that's right, it's all the federal government's fault - it's all Bush's fault that the state and local governments didn't do their jobs. I forgot, it's hip to blame Bush. You go girl!

  37. Anonymous Coward

    If there are rules in the Olympics, even the Communists should abide by them

    Enough Said.

  38. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    The Problem Is, Charlie

    "People become less flexible as they age--simple human biology. Younger ladies thus possess more natural flexibility and are better capable of bending themselves as needed for gymnastics events (which on the women's side usually place an emphasis on flexibility and agility--for the men, there's an added focus on strength)."

    I can't see raising the age entrance a year or two will make a great difference and it can't in all cases but..

    The problem with encouraging overtraining in any sport or excercise that can strain tendons and muscles is that youngsters' bones are cartilageous hence children are more flexible.

    Keeping them under physical duress can cause lasting bone damage with deterioration of bones at 20 to 30 years. It was the scourge of England when all males had to practice archery too often and perhaps with too heavy a bow.

    And it would have been a factor in the poor health of English children when working laws were almost non existant.

    The Olympics committee will be looking into the matter with some very serious concern.

    Were there any comments on the Reg about the so called fireworks display or the dubbed singer at the opening ceremony?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @gizmo23, re: massacre of students


    Does anyone remember Kent state?

    --end quote--

    Wow! What a great example of censorship and making an atrocity disappear! A link to a page that is hosted ... at the place where it happened. I'm certain that's the only US based website that talks about it. Shhhh! We wouldn't want it taken down.

    I'm so looking forward to you producing the Chinese hosted official explanation of Tiananmen Square. Oh, wait ...

    Please keep your argument/logic flaws to a minimum.

    US = not saints. However, if you are seriously putting them on the same level as China, you either have an irrational hatred complex, or love grape Kool Aid.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @ hipocrits celebrating their drugs cheat heros

    All you lot saying chinese cheating, sure underage like your shitty lil diver in the mens, but lets look at all the dopers...

    They are all American, British, Russian and German. Christina Ohorogu or whatever she is a cheat (read the papers if you care), Dwain Chambers is a cheat, Linfod Christie is a cheat. The tonnes of Americans being caught left right and centre with marian jones taking the crown.

    Also CARL LEWIS still celebrated as a olympic hero, he is a DRUGS CHEAT that tested positive THREE times, yes 3. Yet he was still allowed to goto the olympic games that year where he got 2 gold. His excuse: "There were hundreds of people getting off," does nothing to protect his reputation. Tainted piece of dirt and its a joke he calls for doping to be a crime.

    Keep on dreaming folks, how any Americans or british athletes can criticise Chinese athletes is a joke.

  41. A J Stiles

    @ AC

    It's the UK -- didn't you know you are now guilty despite being proven innocent ?

    There, fixed it for you.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Spam and other idiots

    Slavery and second rate black people were acceptable by governments in the west. And still you have institutionalised racism even at the highest ranks of Metropolitan Police in the UK. A British government that spends billions on a haemorrhaging NHS that couldn't even organise a piss up in a brewery.

    Those that think the Tiananmen square massacre is forgotten in China then you idiots need to shut the hell up. And if your going to comment on it at least do the dead the decency of googling the proper name of the event. Rather than 'the massacre'.

  43. Jonti

    Jacques Rogge sounds cynical and dishonest

    IOC President Jacques Rogge said "It's not the task of the IOC to check every one of the 10,000 athletes."

    This is something that nobody had suggested.

    The suggestion is that given evidence of a systematic fraud, the IOC should take some notice.

  44. Kanhef

    Do something with this

    Contact your national Olympic Committee about this and ask them to protest the results (especially you Brits with something to gain). See what you can find about the other two girls; even circumstantial evidence that all three's ages were falsified should get some attention. Send it to (reputable) newspapers, get this outside of just techie sites and the blogosphere.

    As for New Orleans, abandon it and build a new, better city. With the sea level rising, land subsiding, and loss of barrier islands/marshes, it's doomed. The USGS (which makes rather conservative estimates) predicts a 1-meter drop relative to sea level by 2100. A Category 3 hurricane's storm surge would be 5 meters above ground level. "Landfall of a Category 5 hurricane in New Orleans would place [it] at 10.5 m or more below storm-surge level by the end of the 21st century." Not including the waves, which would add a couple more meters. Good luck keeping that out.

  45. Daniel B.
    Dead Vulture

    re: massacre of students

    Kent State was one, but I'd say that for the full "coverup" thing, the Mexican government had a very good try at this with the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.

    Official death count: 20.

    Real death count: 400+

    Add up that some recently declassified documents from the Pentagon show that the US was involved at some level with this. So yeah, the Chinese aren't exactly the only ones covering up a massacre.

    The vulture flew too close to the Chihuahua building...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'd post something here...

    ...but I've run dry on ludicrous non-sequitur outrage. Maybe, uhh.. let me see...

    "People in the UK shouldn't talk about the outrage in the US being censorship in China after what they did India who have honor killings and World War 2 France murder. Israel!!!!"

    Is that good?

  47. Rachel

    @ JonB

    I think the issue is that the international governing body of gymnastics set the rules that one has to be 16 to compete, and in a similar way the governing body for diving set rules that competitors have to be 14 to compete - the rules aren't Olympics-wide rules, they're rules for the individual sports. In any case, the discrepancy between the minimum ages also likely has to do with the fact that gymnastics is a weight-bearing, high-impact sport with a high rate of injuries, whereas diving is not really weight-bearing at all (granted, the moves are the similar, but the divers don't have to fling their entire body weight around with just their arms, or land on a still relatively solid mat from a jump that propels them a couple meters into the air) and carries a much lower risk for injuries.

  48. J-Wick


    A lot of rumours were flying round about conditions in the football stadium in New Orleans - murders, rapes and so on. They were reported on the news, but were never confirmed or substaniated:

    Sure, there were guns & looting, but there were also bodies floating in the water & countless dead. Seems like the scale of devastation after Katrina compared to the more recent floods was an order of magnitude different.

    Note that the story about 'attempted rapes' in the collection linked to above (direct link: is false.

    Lots of stories about the behaviour of the Katrina 'refugees' when they arrived in neighbouring states. I'm gonna stick my neck out & say that it seemed to me that there was a lot of 'lazy blacks' versus 'hardworking whites' behind that. And course there was the whole 'finding' versus 'looting' distinction too:

    Anyway, the story behind the Chinese gymnast article is the Chinese goverment's ability to influence companies like Google to remove documents they find 'undesirable', not pedos, nor massacres...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    It's easy to remove documents from the Google Cache yourself if you bother to find out how.

    Paris because she wishes she knew how.

  50. Skyraker

    Taking the piss

    They can check the piss of athletes but not the age eh?

  51. Anonymous Coward


    Asymmetric was an improper name. Don't be an arse. The piece of apparatus has been called the asymmetric bars since they were invented in the mid-nineteenth century. Asymmetric meaning that they were of uneven height. They tend to be referred to as uneven these days because the average person is too stupid to understand the term.

    As for the age of the gymnasts, who cares? Nothing is going to be done about this so we might as well save our breath.

    When Gary hears about this I expect he'll be kicking himself for not just making a bee-line for Beijing. I hear Mao "Leader of the Gang of Four" Zedong was a huge fan and Gary is still a bit of star out there.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The bars are even, they look perfectly level to me, of course one is a different height, but they're still even.

    >"As along the sponsors and broadcasters are happy"

    Dear god, "As long as" is the phrase your desperately clawing for.

    No wonder people treat IT staff like we're frigging retards.


    Yes, it did occur to me that the rules are set by the individual sport's governing body, but it seems a bit rich to strip a girl of a medal on an age basis when in other sports you have athletes of the same age.

    Perhaps Olympics wide rules should be adopted for consistency?

    I was also informed the other day that some apparently similar events (sailing) don't allow entries from athletes in the similar events, although I think they may have been mistaken.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google's cache

    Chinese goverment documents about He Kexin are still available in Google's cache:

    Click on cached for the first result. You should get:

  54. Danny

    so what?

    i really don't see what the problem is, who cares if they where too young? they are the best, they won gold and that's that.

    why are kids under 16 disallowed from competing in the first place? shouldn't the best competitor win?

  55. George

    @ SPAM

    "...anyone who says that the US or UK had a massacre of students is an idiot.

    If that happened here there would be mass rioting and the government would have major problems trying to stay in power...."

    Oh yes, just like when we went to war against the majority of opinion polls London's biggest rally since Poll Tax days...apathy is politics' killer.

  56. CDF

    They turned Chris Hoy into a pincushion

    just to make sure he wasn't cheating. He wasn't. Nor has any other British athlete been doping, if we accept the frequent tests as genuine. Poor old Michael Phelps has had people following him into the loo with buckets just to make sure he wasn't cheating either (thank God he eats and drinks as much as he does, otherwise he'd have no bodily fluids left).

    All these athletes abided by the rules. It's a piss-take to somehow exempt the Chinese because they're hosting the Games.

  57. marekt77

    So much for "Do no evil"

    "The Excel files, purged by censors from the official site and from Google's document cache"

    So does this mean that Google purged the documents from their own servers to protect the Chinese government? Hmm... Whatever happened to Google mission statement of doing no evil?

  58. Monty Lovering

    Diving and gymnastics the same?

    Whether it's a good idea to expose 14 year-olds to Olympic competiton is one thing. But to compare the physical requirements of diving to gymnastics is apples and oranges.

    Yeah, they're both fruit but not the same.

    Gymnastics imposes strain on the body that can distort it whilst it is still growing. Someone who does gymnastics (or ballet) at competitive/professional levels as an adolescent will probably carry the physical effects of it for life. Diving doesn't impose nearly the same levels of stress.

    People in their mid-twenties can compete easily with teenagers in diving; being young is not a huge advantage. Teenage gymnasts are more flexible and supple and by their mid-twenties a gymnast's career is normally over.

    The two factors (advantage + physical damage) that differentiate teenage gymnasts from teenage divers make any claim both should have an under-16 ban ill-informed.

  59. ratfox
    Paris Hilton

    Hidden massacres in US and UK

    Of course, there was no hidden massacre in US or UK like there was in China. That's not the democratic way.

    Totalitarian governments say: "SHUT UP! It didn't happen!" (Tienanmen)

    Democratic governments say: "Yeah, it happened. So?" (Kent)

    Or, possibly, they claim the students had WMD...

    Paris, because she's a WM(brain)D

  60. Anonymous Coward

    The French are Coming! The French are coming!

    OK, actually, just the IOC:


    BEIJING - The International Olympic Committee is launching an investigation into Chinese gold-medal-winning gymnast He Kexin's age, the Times of London is reporting. Mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the Olympian's age triggered the IOC to act.

    --end quote--

    I think the medals should be left empty - it isn't like the US really deserved to win (one of their gymnasts fell *twice*, for crying out loud). It'd be a fitting symbol of the mess this has turned into.

    The problem with a lie this large is keeping all he stories straight over a long period of time. Apparently, they didn't plan this out very far, and got caught I kind of feel sorry for Miss He ... I have a feeling she's just a pawn in a much larger nationalist ego game between two pros at that game.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    <sniggers quietly in corner>

    Yup, they bit it!

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Too young

    She should still be in the factory putting widgets in my new iphone!

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BOFH > China > IOC

    Don't worry. This crap with China'll be over soon as soon as the BOFH decides to play a game of Rise of Nations in real life with a bunch of Predators, those doughnut-robo-Daleks from Liverpool and the bunch from the MoD's robot wars

  64. Mr Larrington

    And another thing...

    If you win the 4x100m freestyle relay thing, that counts as ONE gold medal, not four. I bet that after the baseball final (USA vs. Cuba), the Septics will claim they won twenty-four[1] medals in that event alone.

    Cuba si, Yanqui no!

    1 - ten starters and fourteen(!) reserves

  65. strangetpwn

    Cultural differences

    In Taiwan and China most people count a child's age starting from 1 not 0. So a newborn child is considered 1 year's old, and someone born on March 1, 1978 will tell you they are 31, at the time of typing this.

    More traditionalists go even further and will increment ages on the passing of the new year (based on the Lunar calendar) and not birth date. For a year when Chinese New Year's day falls on Feb 1, a child born Jan 31 would be already considered 2 year's old on Feb 2.

    So you see it's just cultural differences. The girls are all 16, the rest of the world is just counting wrong.

    Also since when did people using search engines to find stuff become "hackers"? Seriously now, WTF?

  66. ShaggyDoggy

    @ RRRoamer

    hey did you used to write COMICS

  67. DrunkenMessiah
    Thumb Down

    @ Darren Sandford

    Maybe not tanks but horses definitely. People in the UK need to look at our own brutal history of human rights abuses before we start pointing the finger at anyone!

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cultural differences

    That would work if the suggestion was that the girl was 15, but they're claiming 14, so even the extra year doesn't cover it.

  69. Geee


    b*ll*cks. they know the rules, there's no way they're underage. The American's are BAD losers - and so the urban legends start! via the internet of course! There's no 'proof' in this ridiculous article.

    this sentence would make me tear this guys head off:

    'All this ought to be the focus of an investigation by the International Olympics Committeee or the gymnastics governing body; but such is the desire of both to avoid doing anything to offend their Chinese hosts that it's very unlikely anything will happen'.

    that just confirms to me that it's utter pants. GO CHINA! What an amazing show to put on - the best ever!


  70. Doug Glass


    The really sad part is you have indisputable evidence of a government teaching its young citizens to be deceitful and dishonest. Not that she had a choice in the matter and she may not know she's underage ... but she will soon.

    I feel sorry for the child; I can only imagine if it were my daughter, But as for the Chinese government ... never forget Tiananmen Square 1989. This was then the true face of China's rulers and it still is today.

  71. John Dougald McCallum



    By RRRoamer

    Hear Hear I totally agree That dipstick of a Mayor should have been had up on malfeacence in office if there is such a charge in the US.

    Jolly Roger 'cos he's a pirate.

  72. David Lyons

    IOC claims "It's not our job"

    How can the IOC claim that "It's not their job to check the age of competitors" when it's the IOC that set the rules regarding gymnast ages?

    They CAN'T just ignore this, as the team concerned are now the Gold Medallists. The moment these allegations arose, they needed to start investigating. They can't just turn a 'blind eye' as the team also belongs to the host country, whom they do not wish to offend.

  73. DrBob

    33 Year old wins silver.

    The "they are young and therefore have an advantage" arguement is rather demolished by the gymnast Oksana Chusovitina

    At 33 years old she won silver on the vault at the Beijing olympics and has competed at the olympics since Barcelona 1992 and is considering London 2012.

    If you have the mental strength and commitment to continue you often can. Most of the children quit around age 21 to do other stuff however.

  74. Keith Williams


    "the USA is actually a REPUBLIC and NOT a DEMOCRACY"

    The form of government of the USA, and most other countries in the world is republic, even the former Soviet Union was a Union of Republics.

    Many, if not most of the former members of the British Empire are Constitutional Monarchies (except the United Kingdom, which as I recall, does not have a written constitution).

    However, the form of selection of the government most countries in the world, even the former SSRs, the United States, members of the British Commonwealth, and EVEN ZIMBABWE is Democratic as in "The expressed will of the People".

    Also, I thought that the Levies around New Orleans were the responsiblity of the Army Corps of Engineers.

  75. TeeCee Gold badge

    Bar terminology.

    I reckon they renamed 'em 'cos American audiences thought that "asymmetric" was something to do with French underwear sizes.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    Chinese Sports Philosophy (oh, and a pot calling the kettle black talking point)

    After the Australian Olympics, many in Canada (We like coming in fourth. Really, it was a personal best...) talked about the Aussie approach to sports and the tangible medal results and pondered if we should adopt the same strategy. This year, nobody I work with is admiring the Chinese sports-droids and saying, "Gee with a lot of sacrifice, indoctrination and incessant state driven training that could be my socially crippled daughter up on the podium. So maybe personal bests aren't so bad after all.

    There has also been comments in these postings about young gymnasts vs. divers. Here is a quote from the following overly long link:

    ( - Pictured:+The+athlete+who+could+go+blind+because+Chinese+officials+ - are+forcing+him+to+go+for+Olympic+gold/

    "A study in 2000 revealed that a quarter of Chinese divers have had retina injuries because of the intensive training and lack of screening for eye disorders. That is far more than any other nation. "

    And then, for all you self-righteous and/or apologist types, let's not just bitch about the past, let's accept responsibility, learn from it and encourage others to do better....:


    "The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, also known as the Amritsar Massacre, was named after the Jallianwala Bagh (Garden) in the northern Indian city of Amritsar where, on April 13, 1919, British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children. The firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired, or 33 rounds per soldier. Official British Raj sources placed the fatalities at 379. According to private sources there were over 1000 deaths, with more than 2000 wounded,[1] and Civil Surgeon Dr. Smith indicated that there were 1,526 casualties.[2] " - Parliament commended him (at least initially).

    (An -Olympic- flame because on my display it actually has a bit of a 3-d effect which is cool.)

  77. b
    Thumb Down

    take their medals away. full stop.

    so morality is based upon how many people you have in your country?

    so in furture years and decades, china and india will be able to get away with a lot, because they've got loads of people!

    it's W*NK.

  78. Greg

    Easy way to settle this

    Nobody's sure about her real age? Easy peasy: Just saw her in half and count the rings. Duh.

  79. Geee
    Thumb Down


    "EVEN ZIMBABWE is Democratic as in "The expressed will of the People".

    Yeh and what an excellent example to bring up! Alot of good democracy does for Zimbabwe!

    Do you really think China wants that for their people? The West should back off and try to learn from the East rather than discredit them at any opportunity - what are they so afraid of? Clean up your own back yard first before dictating how others should live!

    Getting back to the topic - I don't believe for one minute this story is true (I've yet to see any FACTS). Massive congratulations to the Chinese Womens Artistic Gymnastics Team - you were wonderful.

  80. greenmantle

    @ Chinese Sports Philosophy

    "The firing lasted about 10 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired, or 33 rounds per soldier. Official British Raj sources placed the fatalities at 379."

    Rotten aiming. They should have trained with the BOFH a bit: wouldn't last 30secs in Quake...

  81. Anonymous Coward

    We're so lucky that the US and UK share a language...

    I mean, imagine if the rest of the world spoke English, too-- then we'd be able to argue endlessly with them over how they're running their countries, too!

  82. Michael Dunn

    Chinese ages

    It maybe of interest to people to know that the Chinese do not count their age in the same way as the Anglo-Saxon speaking nations.

    A child is one year old when born, and becomes two on the occasion of the next Chinese New Year.

    One of these athletes is reported to have been born on 1st January. This would have been followed within 2 to 6 weeks by that year's Chinese New Year.

    I was born on 28th January 1934. Chinese New Year in 1934 was on 14th February, so according to the Chinese way of reckoning I am 76, though my British documents put me down as 74 (Wow, an extra 25p a week on my pension next year!).

    More importantly for those who have any faith in Chinese astrology, I have always been labelled as born in the year of the dog - the major portion of 1934 was the year of the dog - but in fact was born in the year of the rooster. Characteristic: excessive talkativeness!

  83. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Must be over 16 years old

    or else we will have all committed the crime of lusting after underage gymnasts, so the rule was probably instigated by the Moral Majority or some other nanny group whose lives are so boring they have to meddle in everyone elses.

    I have a friend who did ballet starting at 6 years old who has foot bones that look like a chinese puzzle and her feet hurt her all the time.

    The damage is from them standing "a point" from too early an age.

    This type of thing is known to affect very young gymnasts who are pushed (or push themselves) too hard.

    Paris cos she's bendy and knows about pervs (well in my dreams she is and does! <LOL>)

  84. Anonymous Coward


    Now you owe me a new keyboard...thanks a lot!

  85. Mahou Saru

    Assign the penalty after proven guilty

    As the subject says. It would be nice if some people could be more objective about the issue instead of again and again bringing up Chinese human rights issues etc.

    I know its boring if we don't get on our soap boxes and blow a load of BS, but how about letting them officially state that He lied about her age before laying down god's wrath?

  86. JT2008


    " "and I believe that united they will be able to make state-sponsored censorship a thing of the past.""

    "Awefull hypocrisy comming from anyonme in the UK or USA"

    Here in the U.S., I don't get imprisoned for blogging against my government.

    Try it in China.

    Oh ,and I do so love the way the Chinese Government decided that certain individuals (their own citizens, no less) needed to NOT be in the city when the Olympics happened.

    I could rail on, but at this point, there's no real need.

  87. JT2008


    "Like the US of Good ol A have made New Orleans vanish so they don't have to worry about re-building it?"

    What? Are you really this stupid? ...Ah ...a troll, perhaps?

    New Orleans was a NATURAL DISASTER ...

    What the Chinese Government does to its own people is a TRAVESTY.

    Get your head out.

  88. Martin Nicholls

    @ Ignorant Anonymous Coward

    "Christina Ohorogu or whatever she is a cheat (read the papers if you care)"

    Think you'll find, if you read the documentation - and got a clue - that she was suspended due to missing out-of-season testing. Asside from the obvious fact that nobody, even the governing bodies, *ever* suggested she took drugs, also pointed out by the fact she is indeed allowed to compete in the olympic games.

    The testing she was subject to and missed, which she was suspended for, asside being one of if not *the* most stringent in the world (people on police bail have an easier time of things), works in a way that it's very easy to miss testing by being like say - on holiday.

    The fact of the matter is she made a mistake, was pushed for it and is now time-served.

    As for the other guys, yeah no argument - these people aren't celebrated now, the fact is that at the time nobody knew.

    If you want to talk about current drugs cheats lets look at all the IAAF suspensions of the Russian women's 1500M runners..

  89. elderlybloke


    Those students at Kent State University were engaged in RIOTING and hurling stones at the troops.

    The troops were correct to open fire on them, Or do you condone acts of rioting , without any response from the law.

    Please don't give me any crap about they were really nice guys expressing some democratic rights.

    Here in NZ , the Cops or Soldiers can shoot rioters ,if they carry on after the Riot Act is read out. If I was reading it I would do it really fast!

  90. RRRoamer


    "A lot of rumours were flying round about conditions in the football stadium in New Orleans - murders, rapes and so on. They were reported on the news, but were never confirmed or substaniated."

    All of the things going on in the stadium were being done BY NO residents TO NO residents. The rest of the US had nothing to do with that one way or the other. Ian's original post implied all kinds of terrible things that the country did TO NO.

    "Sure, there were guns & looting, but there were also bodies floating in the water & countless dead. Seems like the scale of devastation after Katrina compared to the more recent floods was an order of magnitude different."

    Here is the problem with NO: It sits BELOW sea level. Normally, when a place floods due to storm surge, the surge runs back out to sea taking the water with it. In NO, it filled up the hole and didn't go anywhere until systems could be repaired to PUMP the water out.

    So yes, as soon as the waters breached the levies, NO was doomed. And the devastation WAS much worse than what you would EVER expect from some water coming in one of the levies.

    As for the bodies, well, even with the national guard there, they had limited (relative to the size of the disaster) resources and those resources were mostly tasked with trying to take care of the living. The dead can, and had to wait.

    "Lots of stories about the behaviour of the Katrina 'refugees' when they arrived in neighbouring states. I'm gonna stick my neck out & say that it seemed to me that there was a lot of 'lazy blacks' versus 'hardworking whites' behind that. And course there was the whole 'finding' versus 'looting' distinction too:"

    Check the crime statistics for Houston Texas. That is a large city and yet 100,000 NO refugees were able to significantly increase crime in many categories. As for the whole white vs. black thing, while it gets bandied about on the news all the time, MOST Americans really don't care about skin color. The few that do SURE do make it look like the USA is nothing but a bunch of racists though. At least on the main stream news.

    As for me, I happen to have several black friends. Or more to the point, I happen to have several good friends that HAPPEN to be black. I also happen to have several good friends that HAPPEN to Hispanic. Heck, I have a few good friends that HAPPEN to be Mexican immigrants. Like most people in the USA, I really don't care what color a man's (or woman's) skin is. I'm FAR more interested in the color of their soul. (that would roughly translate to "character" for the atheists out there)

  91. elderlybloke
    Dead Vulture

    USA becoming like China

    I see on another item of my newsletter from The Register that George Bush , the Murderous (er sorry - Born again Christian) President that the Americans are going to become even less free.

    "Bush makes last-minute grab for civil-liberties"

    It is about the way he is organising the loss of even more liberty/freedom for the unfortunate yanks . Who still think they are in the land of the free.

    Peace and Joy to you

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