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Hacker Uncovers Chinese Olympic Fraud

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-helluva-home-court-advantage dept.

Censorship 1275

SkeptOlympics writes "A new chapter in the ongoing controversy surrounding China's women's gymnastics team opened today, as search engine hacker stryde.hax found surviving copies of official registration documents issued by China's General Administration of Sport of China. The incriminating documents, expunged by censors from the official site and from Google's document cache, still appear in the document translation cache of Chinese search giant Baidu, here (1) and here (2), showing the age of one of China's gold medal winning gymnasts to be 14 instead of 16, the minimum age for competition presented on her government-issued passport. Now that official government documentation is available, how long will the IOC be able to keep a lid on this scandal?" I imagine the answer is "Forever."

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Re-education (5, Funny)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672685)

Uh oh, some poor sysadmin at Baidu is in need of "re-education".

Re:Re-education (0, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672807)

I believe its called re-patriotism, in the patriot education bill.

Re:Re-education (1, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672849)

I believe it's called waterboarding in the Bush administration.

Cultural Differences (3, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673121)

People in many western countries have an expectation that governments and businesses behave in a mostly honorable manner. Chinese have no such expectation as citizens of a one party communist government. History, if the party decides, will be changed, and changed, and then changed again in order to match the truth of The Party.

Was the name of that poor sysadmin Winston? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Re-education (1, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673167)

Shame on us for allowing the games in China. As a nation they deserve only disgrace and isolation.

Nothing will happen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672687)

China has already taken their official stance. They just don't care about the rules and don't care what other people think about it.

Re:Nothing will happen (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672717)

More importantly, the IOC has taken their official stance, too.

Re:Nothing will happen (4, Insightful)

bonehead (6382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673033)

And their stance is about as ridiculous as it gets. They've stated that the girls passports are sufficient proof of their age. (Well, there's slightly more to it than that, but that's what it boils down to.)

Great idea, accept documents created by the very people accused of cheating as proof that they didn't cheat.

Re:Nothing will happen (4, Insightful)

multimed (189254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673119)

Much in the same way anyone wishing to protest in the "designated protest areas" must file a petition to protest from the very state they'd protest against.

So Solly Fo Cheating (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672691)

Oh so solly siw.

Aw Giws is onry fowteen, not sixteen.

So solly fo cheating.

A big deal will get made (-1, Flamebait)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672693)

This gossip and tabloid type scandal is perfect for more distraction of the public. Even if nothing happens now, in China- The US news will be plastered.

What war in Iraq?

Re:A big deal will get made (2, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672995)

Oh, yes, the media should give the same preference to Iraq news over the Olympics that is demonstrated by such responsible, independent organizations like Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A big deal will get made (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673021)

What war in Iraq?

Where the movie "Wag the dog" made a fake war to get the attention away from alleged sexual behavior of the president. "Wag the dog II" will be about the alleged sexual behavior of the president to get the attention away from war.

My, how times have changed.

Re:A big deal will get made (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673075)

This gossip and tabloid type scandal is perfect for more distraction of the public. Even if nothing happens now, in China- The US news will be plastered.

What war in Iraq?

Dude, the war in Iraq isn't going anywhere.
Neither is the war in Georgia/Ossetia.
And the Olympics are over in a few days.
Everyone with a tv or radio knows that Condi Rice is skipping the closing ceremonies because of emergency NATO meetings about Russian & because Musharraf just resigned.

Part of the reasons the IOC chose China was to shine a spotlight on their censorious, opaque and human-rights-violating ways. The idea being that, if the Chinese government gets enough egg on their face, they might decide anything is better than being humiliated/embarrassed in front of the world. At most, that high wattage bulb is going to be shining for another week.

Re:A big deal will get made (5, Insightful)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673217)

Everyone with a tv or radio knows that. . .

No. Everyone with a TV or radio knows that Phelps won 8 medals, when the next season of Stuck-On-An-Island-With-A-Film-Crew starts, and how the evil gas companies are making gazillions of dollars at our expense.

Re:A big deal will get made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673141)

And then there are sites like this [cheatorbeat.com] popping up everywhere to take advantage of news like this.

I imagine so as well (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672703)

The IOC are making themselves look pretty scummy by association at the moment. They seem complicit in various pieces of fraud and dodgy dealings, and perfectly willing to help cover everything up.

But then I've never held them in that high a regard anyway. They're a business and they make the world's governments beg like puppydogs to be allowed to hold their games.

Frankly I find the whole thing to be something of a joke, and an incredible waste of money.

Re:I imagine so as well (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672765)

The IOC are making themselves look pretty scummy by association at the moment.

If it makes you feel better, the IOC has always been scummy.

Re:I imagine so as well (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672877)

the IOC has always been scummy.

Well, at least since the 1930s...

-jcr

Re:I imagine so as well (2, Informative)

sBox (512691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672951)

Sure have. It lead to the previous President's removal [wikipedia.org] along with several other cronies.

Re:I imagine so as well (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672769)

The IOC are making themselves look pretty scummy by association at the moment. They seem complicit in various pieces of fraud and dodgy dealings, and perfectly willing to help cover everything up.

I'm sorry, I must have missed something. How is this news?

Re:I imagine so as well (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672913)

Yeah, but what did you expect, after France controlled the votes for xxx reason to make Canada lose the gold medal in ice skating during the last Olympics a few years back.
It doesn't surprise me anymore, there are no such things as fair and equal anymore, only
best equipped or biggest funds.

Re:I imagine so as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672921)

I have tried persistently to find anyone with power who is not scummy, but have failed.

That the IOC is not either is not surprising.

Re:I imagine so as well (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672929)

The IOC are making themselves look pretty scummy by association at the moment. They seem complicit in various pieces of fraud and dodgy dealings, and perfectly willing to help cover everything up.

Seriously. First getting bought off by the Mormons and now the Chinese? Who next... the Scientologists??? Uh oh... I think I hear their lawyers calling.

Re:I imagine so as well (4, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673061)

"People, people, please! You're forgetting what the Olympics are all about:
giving out medals of
beautiful gold,
so-so silver and s
hameful bronze. "
Simpsons

Re:I imagine so as well (1)

multimed (189254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673189)

The IOC are making themselves look pretty scummy by association at the moment. They seem complicit in various pieces of fraud and dodgy dealings, and perfectly willing to help cover everything up.

But then I've never held them in that high a regard anyway. They're a business and they make the world's governments beg like puppydogs to be allowed to hold their games.

Frankly I find the whole thing to be something of a joke, and an incredible waste of money.

They're not a business, they're a corrupt, monopolistic organization that has no oversight what-so-ever. Take all oil companies, combine them into one then allow them to register domicile on the moon so no entity on earth can actually have jurisdiction over them.

Wonderful (1)

ziptnf (1230572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672713)

Now let's move onto something that the entire world didn't already know. It's not like they're going to do anything about it, the Chinese will scream that those documents are forged, and everybody will forget about it.

Re:Wonderful (1)

mitgib (1156957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672773)

And in 4 years, she will be 18 on those documents when competing. I know women like to fudge their age, but this is a whole new level.

It's nice to have proof (2, Insightful)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672815)

Even if nobody is going to admit anything it's nice to see what everybody suspected in black and white.

Minimum Age (5, Insightful)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672731)

Why is there a minimum age to begin with? I think if a 14 year old can compete at the level of those a few years older, she should be allowed to. Is the age requirement only in gymnastics? Wasn't Michael Phelps 15 in his first Olympics in 2000?

Re:Minimum Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672805)

I believe the reason given was that those under 16 might be "taken advantage" of.

Given the background on how China runs its gymnastic selection and training program, seems moot.

Re:Minimum Age (4, Informative)

Phil John (576633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672809)

It's to do with the safety of the competitors (underdeveloped bones etc.) as gymnastics takes much more of a toll on your body than swimming (being exceedingly hig. I would wager being younger, and lighter, also helps on things like the Asymmetric Bars.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672987)

Strength to weight ratio is inversely proportional to height, which is partly why ants can lift 100 times their body weight. Smaller athletes have better agility, but not as much raw power.

Re:Minimum Age (1, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672823)

Why is there a minimum age to begin with? I think if a 14 year old can compete at the level of those a few years older, she should be allowed to. Is the age requirement only in gymnastics? Wasn't Michael Phelps 15 in his first Olympics in 2000?

Certainly worth modding up IMHO. She won despite her age, not because she took drugs or anything. I think she deserves her medal. The only scandal here are the documents, not her competing.

Re:Minimum Age (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673017)

Youth is an advantage in gymnastics. Under-16 gymnasts from other countries (who are better than those that go to the Olympics) stay home and hope they'll have a shot next time around.

Re:Minimum Age (3, Insightful)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673145)

She won despite her age, not because she took drugs or anything.

A younger age is actually an advantage. 20 is practically considered an aging veteran of the sport.

I think it's funny that the Olympics tests drugs so rigorously, yet not this age rule. Both are biological advantages.

Re:Minimum Age (5, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673169)

My 3 year old beats me in Limbo every time. He's an amazing competitor, that one.

Re:Minimum Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672825)

Because they found the Olympic training to be very damaging to younger girls.

Re:Minimum Age (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672893)

Because they found the Olympic training to be very damaging to younger girls.

It's not like any of the girls competing in gymnastics haven't been training since they were very young anyways....

Re:Minimum Age (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672981)

Because they found the Olympic training to be very damaging to younger girls.

Which doesn't make a whole lotta sense, since they begin training at a very young age regardless of the age they are when competing in the Olympics.

Re:Minimum Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672835)

It's been suggested that younger gymnasts have less fear of what they are doing, and therefore preform more risky routines.

Re:Minimum Age (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672857)

As I understand it, there's a huge performance difference between just a few years, smaller girls rotate faster and are quicker. It's like the difference between weight classes in boxing, you pair like against like.

But more to the point, the rule is the rule. You don't ignore a rule in the competition just because you don't agree with it. The Dolphins can't put 50 guys out on the field just because they suck and think they need the extra help, regardless of what the rules say.

China is cheating, end of story. And the IOC is corrupt, go figure.

Re:Minimum Age (5, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672983)

smaller girls rotate faster

I wouldn't say stuff like that in public, dude.

Re:Minimum Age (2, Insightful)

cb95amc (99589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673157)

The GB team have a 14 year old competing in the mens diving competition.....I would have thought there would be similar issues for that sport as it involves similar skills

physical strain (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672861)

let alone there has to be lots of emotional strain.

I think it was done after Nadia, wasn't she 14?

Granted some people mature faster than others but who is to judge?

I look at it this way, the IOC turns a blind eye to Tibet so I seriously don't think something as age is important to them either. They won't do anything until the Olympics are done, let alone acknowledge it. They won't do anything if it affects how much money the IOC gets.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672881)

You miss the obvious fact that being a female below 16 in gymnastics is an advantage, while in swimming it's not.

Why it's there to begin with is another story entirely from the topic at hand. They probably should allow pre-16 year old women to compete. The point is, those aren't the rules in place.

Re:Minimum Age (1, Informative)

wigle (676212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672887)

You are allowed to compete if you're 15 as long as your 16th birthday is in the Olympic year. I don't know why there is a minimum age, but when one country breaks the rule they gain the advantage, especially in gymnastics. Lack of hips and weighing light as a feather helped all the Chinese gymnasts.. If it was possible for the U.S. to use such tiny athletes, maybe we would have done better too.

Re:Minimum Age (4, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672891)

The younger you are, the smaller you tend to be. If you are smaller, you can spin/rotate faster (pure physics there). Additionally, you are more flexible, so you can perform certain maneuvers that get more difficult as you get older. There also is a "fear" issue that plays a small part where a younger person, not having the same number of opportunities to fall and hurt themselves, will be more fearless than an older person who has been banged up a bit. Women's gymnastics isn't really about strength, so age doesn't help you. Whereas in other sports, men's gymnastics even, the stronger you are, the better you probably will be, and the older you are, the stronger you tend to be.

Re:Minimum Age (5, Informative)

anonicon (215837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672907)

There's a minimum age because FIG (Federation Internationale de Gymnastique) implemented one in 1997:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_gymnastics [wikipedia.org]

Why? Well, it's not conclusive, but this article has some good reasons:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080817014559AAZVAvK [yahoo.com]

Re:Minimum Age (1)

Flying Scotsman (1255778) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672915)

Minimum-age-for-competition rules (at least in the sports I practice) are generally to promote "healthy" athletics, and are pretty common.

Training a 13-year to compete at the world level in most sports puts incredible strain on a developing body, causing the athelete to become a physical wreck by age 18, often with injuries that will linger for the rest of their life. Waiting until the athelete is more mature and developed before starting the intense top-level training can avoid these sorts of effects. Since the governing bodies of various sports don't want their sport to become associated with crippling children, they will make such minimum age rules.

Some other non-athletic fields have similar practices. Opera singing, for example. The stress of top-level singing at a young age can ruin young vocal chords, so young talents are usually held back for a few years.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672917)

All of what the other posters said, plus the fact that younger girls are naturally more flexible, which can give them an advantage over older competitors. There's also the idea that younger girls are better able to handle stress (maybe because they don't fully realize the magnitude of what they're doing), and can thus theoretically perform better, but that one may or may not have any basis in reality (but it has been repeated by the NBC commentators).

Re:Minimum Age (1)

Kryptic Knight (96187) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672979)

Wasn't Michael Phelps 15 in his first Olympics in 2000?

The rules state that gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of the competition.
So you can be age 15 in this year's olympics providing you're going to be 16 before 31/DEC.

Re:Minimum Age (2, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673163)

Also, Michael Phelps happens to be a male swimmer and not a female gymnast. FINA is for swimmers and FIG is for gymnasts. Go figure that different governing bodies may have different rules for different sports. The IOC is far from the only organization involved in the Olympics.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672999)

Womens gymnastics and figure skating are the only ones with this rule, for gymnastics the rules started this year.
The official reason was the mental health of the particants. Unofficial reason was the creep factor of the sport becoming 12-15 years old only, it is suppose to be womens gynmastics not girls.
As for the reason girls do better in both those sports is that the hips are not developed so they can spin, flip, move around quicker then a developed female. Some people also credit that at the young age they are less scared of injury so they do more dangerous stuff then someone who is older.
I think that is everything I heard on the radio.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

jmilne (121521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673031)

There's a couple of reasons. One has to do with size. It's the same reason why you put boxers and wrestlers into weight categories. You're putting kids that weigh a lot less into the same category as larger girls, and in this case, that gives a huge advantage to the smaller, lighter girls.

There's also the question of responsibility. You're putting extremely young girls into a situation where they could be injured. A 16 year-old competing at the Olympics probably starts learning how to do the really hard routines when they're about 14. And an athlete competing at the age of 14 probably started out learning their routine around the age of 12. There comes a point where you have to be the responsible parent/coach/athletic authority and say that's too young.

Finally, like any sport, it's just the rule. It's an arbitrary number in some ways, but that's the way it is. Why do I have to wait until I'm 21 before I can gamble? I can vote at 18, drive a car at 16, detassle corn at 14... You'd think if I was making my own money at 14, I'd be allowed to spend it. But rules are rules, and in sports, if you don't follow the rules, you get penalized. Unless your Chinese.

Re:Minimum Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673139)

Why is there a minimum age to begin with? I think if a 14 year old can compete at the level of those a few years older, she should be allowed to. Is the age requirement only in gymnastics? Wasn't Michael Phelps 15 in his first Olympics in 2000?

For the same reason that wrestling has weight divisions.

It has to do with the culture of the sport (5, Informative)

hellfire (86129) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673159)

Even though you have tons of sports in the Olympics, each sport is different, especially in culture.

In order to groom a good gymnast you have to start very young and you have to practice constantly, training for much of her life. You must be physically strong, flexible, have incredible coordination and balance, have low weight and low body fat and be relatively fearless. The types of things female gymnasts are asked to do are best performed by teenage girls who have made a life long career out of gymnastics. The problem is that once you realize this, you press gymnasts to train harder and harder, faster and faster. You get into situations were girls train too much, ignore schooling, get injuries because they push too hard, begin to suffer from bolemia and anorexia, etc. To top it off, you typically only get 1 shot at olympic gold, if at all, because in 4 years your "washed up" because the next girl who comes along is the new star and at 20 you can't do the same things you can at 16. At that young age, all you want to do is get your moment in the spotlight, make your coach and your parents happy, and get your pony. You aren't thinking about your long term future, and most gymnasts don't have a future in gymnastics outside of their teen years. If you look at this culture, women's gymnastics no longer looks like such a pretty sport.

At least in men's gymnastics, they can attend at least two olympics, because their events are based more on strength and men can continue to get stronger past their teen years

Just to paint a little more broad picture, look at swimming this year. There's a 40 year old woman swimming for the american team this year. Phelps has been in two and could be in three olympics. Swimmers train hard, but in general they can get better as they get older, as Phelps did, but gymnasts peak early. When have you seen a woman gymnast in more than 1 olympics? When have you seen a 24 year old female gymnast, much less a 40 year old one?

The point of the rule is a stop gap to prevent downward pressure on the average age of a gymnast, and allow them to grow up at least a little bit in the hopes they can make better decisions for themselves, and so that coaches and countries don't start pushing 12 year olds as gymnasts. A 14 year old is a little more fearless than a 16 year old... in a very bad way. One bad decision could cause severe injury, and pushing a girl that young will have lasting effects on her life, mostly bad. I would not put it past communist regimes like China to have a state run program where they don't care about their girls and create a program which churns out 12-14 year old world class gymnasts who in turn are discarded with severe emotional and physical problems later in life.

So in short, it's their to protect the girls from themselves and everyone else who would push them too hard to early. Personally, I'd want the limit higher, because calling those gymnasts "women" is downright upsetting to me, and they still start incredibly young for a fleeting chance at a bit of stardom.

Re:Minimum Age (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673171)

Do you remember being young? Do you remember how easy it was to climb trees, tumble on the ground, do cartwheels etc?

Being under developed is an advantage in the sport of gymnastics, especially for females.

how long will the IOC keep a lid? (4, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672737)

Easy, it depends on how many millions the chicoms pour into their private bank accounts. The IOC is the biggest joke in all of sports.

14 vs 16 (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672751)

So they've had two years less of training and they're able to compete at an Olympic level? On the flip side, at 14, the athlete's body is smaller and less developed. Cheating is cheating.

Re:14 vs 16 (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672867)

It's not just that a 14-year old might have an advantage (hence cheating). It is also the fact that such a young person (who, let's face it, can't really make his/her own decisions) is being put in this situation of stress and hardship.

Frankly I think even 16 is too young to allow them to compete at this level, because it invariably means that they were coerced into training at a much younger age. It hardly seems like an informed choice for such young persons to be enrolled in this kind of training by their parents/guardians.

My point is that the minimum age requirements are there not just for fairness, but also (I would hope) help establish some bound of decency with respect to the stresses being put on children. Breaking the rule is not just cheating; it is being dangerously irresponsible with one's young.

Re:14 vs 16 (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673043)

These children are also being pushed in every direction. From their parents, trainers, peers, and their nation. On top of the psychical stress they are putting their young bodies through, they are also having to deal with immense emotional stress. Maybe they are so brainwashed with national pride, the emotional effects are not setting in.

My question is (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672757)

is this seen as a scandal the world over, or just in America? No doubt many in China will believe that the gov on this and ignore the evidence (even if the girls and their parents come forward and admit it as well). But Do many in EU, South America, Africa, Asia Minor, Japan, South Korea, oceana, etc see this as a pretty wicked scandel of both Chinese gov AND IOC?

Re:My question is (3, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672843)

is this seen as a scandal the world over, or just in America?

This is a world-level scandal. Look at the awards the illegal gymnasts have won, think of the other competitors who followed the rules and finished one place out of medal contention. China is making a mockery of was once a good thing. Does China even know how much of a fool they look to the rest of the world with their stance on human rights, privacy and now even this, cheating at the very olympic games that are supposed to be showing how superior they are? If anything, China is proving just how corrupt their whole system of government has become. People's Republic my arse. As if the people have a say anymore.

Re:My question is (0, Offtopic)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673173)

People's Republic my arse. As if the people have a say anymore.

Indeed.

Generally speaking, so-called "people's republics" are anything but. Particularly since they are almost always communist, which basically means they are either a dictatorship or an oligarchy.

Evil commie thugs are evil commie thugs, regardless of whether they dress in Russian hats, Speak an asian language, smoke Cuban cigars or go to the UN and call Bush "The Devil".

As John McCain has said, "History did not end in 1990." There is still evil in the world to fight. The question is, do any nations still have the will to fight them, or are we all to busy in vapid dissolution to care?

Re:My question is (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673203)

The only people who ever had a say were the members of the PLA and the Communist Party. Support Chinese Nationalism. Buy stuff from Taiwan. Support your government's recognition and protection of the only free Chinese in the world -- the Taiwanese and those who have emigrated from China.

Re:My question is (0, Troll)

kazdoran (1201653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672935)

I live in Portugal, Europe, and as far as I know, I haven't heard a single hint about this other than through US media. Namely, I first heard it through the Daily Show. So yeah, I think the "scandal" is all over in the US since they have to find an excuse for their athletes to fail to win every single competition they participate in. Nevermind the fact that most of the athletes found to use drugs in recent years are from the US. *sigh*

Re:My question is (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672969)

Personally, as an American it bothers me that they cheated, but it doesn't really surprise me since the entire sport of gymnastics has been rife with various scandals and corruption charges for decades. However, I'm content with how the US team performed anyway, so it's not a huge deal. I would be a lot more upset if I were in one of the countries that finished in 4th place in any of the events.

Even 14 may be a stretch (2, Insightful)

wigle (676212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672803)

Most of the girls on the Chinese team don't look like they've finished puberty - childish faces, no hips, scrawny. Even for Chinese, these athletes would be extreme cases if they were even close to their 'official' age. Cheng Fei is the only one that does. I can't wait to see what they look like in 3 or 4 years.. I guarantee they will all be taller, heavier, and curvier.

Re:Even 14 may be a stretch (5, Informative)

gauauu (649169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673079)

Most of the girls on the Chinese team don't look like they've finished puberty - childish faces, no hips, scrawny. Even for Chinese, these athletes would be extreme cases if they were even close to their 'official' age. Cheng Fei is the only one that does. I can't wait to see what they look like in 3 or 4 years.. I guarantee they will all be taller, heavier, and curvier.

While that is probably true, most adult women in China look young compared to what we Westerners are used to. (I lived there for a few years, and I always thought that many of my adult coworkers looked like they were 16 or 17) They are just, in general, shorter, thinner, and less curvey than their western counterparts. So it's hard to judge.

I predict... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672817)

Nobody from the IOC is going to say a word about this before they've left China. It would be rather foolhardy to do otherwise.

-jcr

This makes China look even worse (1)

Dex5791 (973984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672819)

Ironic that that go to such lengths to cheat in order to win only to make themselves look bad in the end.

Losing credibility fast. (5, Interesting)

bonehead (6382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672827)

The IOC is going to lose a LOT of credibility over this (as if they have much left to begin with) if they don't do something about it soon.

I wouldn't even mind if they didn't award the gold to the American women. Let them keep the silver, but it needs to be stripped from the Chinese. This is only proof of one of them being underage, but from what I've been reading, it's starting to seem pretty certain that at least 3 of them are underage.

And if China was willing to cheat this blatantly in this event, it makes you wonder what might have been going on behind closed doors with the rest of their athletes.

Crap (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672831)

Now I'm quite disturbed about the thoughts I was having about the Chinese gymnastics team. I wonder if I can bill my therapy to the local Chinese embassy. Or restaurant. Or maybe I'll just go eat Chinese... NO! NO! BAD!

Sigh. I blame the Chinese government for this.

*Now* you're disturbed? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673051)

Considering what the Chinese gymnastics team looks like and what people were saying about them, how does proof of [at least one of] their minority change anything?

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673071)

As a therapeutic exercise perhaps you should direct your attention to Sandra Izbasa (who took gold in the floor exercise).

Prediction (1)

sBox (512691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672851)

Prediction: IOC will turn a blind eye, being that they said the passports are their proof of age and that China is the host country.

Chinese years vs US years. (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672869)

She's 16 in Chinese years, which is 14 is US years.

Saving face (1)

jschen (1249578) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672875)

I suspect that the IOC will turn a blind eye during the actual Olympic competition in order to allow China to save face, but then the issue will be quietly looked at in a year or two when most people no longer care. I have no evidence for this, but it would explain why the IOC is refusing to investigate now in spite of pretty strong evidence.

Re:Saving face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673069)

Sounds like a reasonable conjecture to me. Doing anything about it now would be quite embarrassing for China as the hosts of the Olympics. And embarrassing your host is rude, even in the West.

Dealing with it later in a quiet manner is the politic thing to do.

Don't hold yer breath... (1)

ibm1130 (123012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672889)

"how long will the IOC be able to keep a lid on this scandal?"

Basically forever. This is not, you may suspect, the first time something a regime of this sort has played fast and loose with the rules. About the best one might expect is an asterisk in the record.

But Seriously (5, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672899)

Who didn't assume the Chinese would "cheat to win" at least a few times in this Olympics? They want to dazzle the world and win as many medals as possible. One has to assume they'll resort to unsavory tactics as long as plausible deniability exists.

On another Olympics note, does anyone else think there have been an unusually high number of errors in the technical events this year? Perhaps I just wasn't watching that closely in previous years, but I thought there have been an inordinate number of falls (off balance beams), poor landings and other substantial technical failures by the competitors. We've had outstanding performances by the likes of Phelps and Bolt, but otherwise there's been a lot of sucking by these elite athletes.

Don't be evil (5, Interesting)

MECC (8478) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672901)

That's strange. Fortunately, we can click on "View as HTML" in the Google cache and see it. However, even though the Google search results indicate that He Kexin is listed in the spreadsheet, when you view Google's cached version, her name no longer appears.

So much for don't be evil...

Re:Don't be evil (2, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673063)

Google doing some proactive clean up for their new overlord China.

Don't jump to conclusions. (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673127)

That doesn't mean that Google modified the cache, it just means that the cached version has been modified.

Recall that Microsoft Office applications do not always remove deleted data, and Google's search engine operates on the raw data in a file (which means that Google will return search results that seem less than obvious if you just look at a rendered copy of the file... something search engine spammers find handy). That means if someone in China deleted that row from the spreadsheet, it would still show up in Google's search.

Re:Don't be evil (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673205)

Maybe the cache was updated after the change was made in the linked document? Oh wait, a corporation and China in the same sentence! Evil it is!

On the record. (1)

ibm1130 (123012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24672931)

Of course now the ages of the three competitors in question are a matter of public record. Should they show up in the next few years trying to compete in age limited venues it could get interesting.

Re:On the record. (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673077)

They could be age blocked from girl gymnastics but that is not a big ticket item, so not a problem.
The thing to watch will be the next olympics when they would first be eligible and see how they do and then the one following that when would be 24, if 16 now, and probably too old to have a change to compete..

A solution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24672965)

I say carbon date 'em!

Re:A solution (5, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673065)

I say carbon date 'em!

Hand in your geek creds please. Carbon dating only works on dead things, and will only give you the time that has passed since the thing in question died.

Unless you're suggesting that some of the athletes were, in fact, undead.

Re:A solution (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673165)

Better yet, R. Kelly date them. If they're 16 or over, he'll reject them.

Aha! (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673035)

That explains why Team GB have been winning so many Golds this year!

What a shame (-1, Flamebait)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673047)

I hoped that the Olympics were a chance to show that they're progressing and turning into more than a second rate country. But all these Olympics have done so far is make me realize my hatred for their pathetic government. I feel sorry for the poor Chinese citizens.

Reason for no action is... (2, Informative)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673083)

I was listening to commentators a few days ago. Here is what they say... IOC's official duty is to check the passports and they did that. They are not obliged to do any further investigation unless someone presents evidence directly to them. But, of course, due to fear of retaliation in other (or even current) competitions, no one dares to do so.
Kinda fishy reason, but then again, seems to be the case so far.

Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673085)

Even when they're controversial its boring. Is there anything the olympics cant make dull and unimportant?

Today's program is brought to you by the letter C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673089)

Commie Chinese cheating children

Nobody is born on the 1st of January (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673147)

Seriously!

If anyone puts the 1st of January as their birth date, it is only because that is the most convenient fake birth date to enter on an HTML form.

01/01/ and then whatever year you need to be to apply for whatever it is you are applying for.

In an effort to thwart complete expunging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24673175)

Screenshots

http://ledworklights.com/images/He-Kexin-1.png

and

http://ledworklights.com/images/He-Kexin-2.png

Post yours too. Honesty is the best policy, but if they won't be honest, at least we can retain the proof.

Don't just take screen shots... (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24673183)

Download the spreadsheets. If someone has a copy of the one from Google's cache and can do a raw text search on it instead of just looking at the rendered version it might be possible to determine who removed Kexin's entry thanks to Microsoft's leaky file formats.

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