China accepts punishment after IOC strips 2000 medal (2)

09:08, April 30, 2010      

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"Respecting the minimum age of our gymnasts remains a priority and I am committed to safeguarding the health of our athletes," FIG president Bruno Brandi said.

Dong now lives in New Zealand with her husband, working as a coach at a local gymnastics club.

Luo said the gymnastics administrative center hasn't decided whether to hold Dong accountable for the embarrassment.

The sport's ruling body also said it has been strengthening and improving the management of the athletes, strictly sticking to the rules.

However, this is not the first time Chinese athletes have been drawn into controversies about age.

The registered birth date of Yi Jianlian, power forward of the New Jersey Nets in the NBA, is Oct 27, 1987. However, local media went to his hometown in 2008 and found he was born in 1984, according to his registration form in junior high school.

The age of Chen Ruolin, the gold medalist in the women's 10m platform and 10m synchronized platform diving at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was also in question. Chen was born on April 26, 1994, according to the Chinese national diving registration list in 2003, but the date was changed to Dec 12, 1992 in 2007.

In diving, competitors must turn 14 during the year they compete in any official World Cup, World Championships or Olympics. If Chen was born in 1994, she would have been competing illegally at the 2007 World Championships, where she won a gold and a silver.

Source:China Daily



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