The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) has conducted and concluded its investigation into the age of the Chinese gymnasts. The Olympic regulations stipulate that a female gymnast has to be sixteen years old, during the year in which the Olympic Games takes place. The FIG has concluded that the Chinese gymnasts have complied with these rules:

“…”Originals of official documents received from the Chinese Gymnastics Association, specifically passports, identity cards and family booklets or ‘Household Registers’, confirm the ages of the athletes,” FIG said in a statement.”

link: China’s ‘under-age’ gymnasts receive Beijing Olympics all-clear

The conclusions of the FIG are not surprising. In effect, the FIG asked the Chinese government to supply documentation to absolve itself of any wrong doing. It would be completely shocking if the Chinese authorities could not do this.

It is notable that the investigation was limited. The conclusions were reached without any scientific inquiry. Simple x-rays would have provided indisputable scientific evidence. Nevertheless, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will welcome the FIG conclusions. It avoids the international messiness of dealing with a cheating scandal, involving the Olympic host nation.

Catherine Forsythe