China's ruling body launches probe into questioned figure skaters' age

19:42, February 15, 2011      

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China's Zhang Dan (R) and Zhang Hao (L) perform in the pairs short program of the World Figure Skating Championshipsin Washington, in this March 24, 2003, file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

China's figure skating governing body has ordered an investigation into some Chinese athletes whose alleged birthdates were raised questions by foreign media on Tuesday.

The United States-based news agency, The Associated Press, issued an article Tuesday noon, bringing forward an allegation that nine Chinese figure skaters, including the 2006 Olympic pairs silver medalists Zhang Dan and Zhanghao, may have violated competition age limits.

"The association has been aware of the allegation on nine of our skaters' ages," said Yang Dong, director of the figure skating department of China's Winter Sports Administrative Center.

"We'll spare no efforts on probing it," he added.

The AP report compared the birthdates on the Chinese Skating Association's websites and those listed on the athletes' International skating Union biographies, and found discrepancies.

Alongside the Zhangs, who also took silvers in the 2006, 2008 and 2009 world championships, the reigning junior world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong were also questioned of ages.

Other skaters involving in the allegation are pairs skaters Yu Xiaoyu and Yang Jin, male pairs skater Gao Yu, and women's singles skaters Geng Bingwa and Xu Binshu.

Source: Xinhua
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