The International Gymnastic Federation (FIG), cleared the five Chinese gymnasts who were suspected of being underage at the Beijing Olympics. (photo, from bbc.co.uk)
Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year in order to compete.
Although FIG said in a statement that it regarded the case as “concluded”, it insisted that it is still looking at the ages of Chinese gymnasts at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
“The FIG does not consider the explanations and evidence provided to date in regards to these athletes as satisfactory”, said the statement.
Concerning the 2008 team, the investigation was launched on 24 August, just before the end of the Beijing Olympics, after suggestions that some of the girls could be 14.
China had always insisted that the girls were old enough to compete.
The five gymnasts under investigation were He Kexin, Yang Yilin, Jiang Yuyuan, Li Shanshan and Deng Linlin. They claimed gold medals as part of the Chinese female squad that won the women’s team event. And He Kexin won the women’s uneven bars.
“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”, added the FIG statement.