IOC looking into issue of age of Chinese women gymnasts

Society Materials 22 August 2008 08:06 (UTC +04:00)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Friday that it has requested gymnastics' ruling body FIG to look into whether one of the Chinese women gymnasts who competed at the Beijing Games was underage. ( dpa )

"We have requested the international gymnastics federation to look into the matter more closely again," IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

There have been constant allegations that He Kexin, who took won the uneven bars competition and was also a member of China's gold- winning team, was 14 rather than 16 as stated.

The British Times newspaper reported that the IOC's new interest in the affair stems from claims by US computer expert Mike Walker that he has uncovered two Chinese government documents that have since been removed from a Chinese government website which he says prove she is underage.

According to Walker, the documents stated that Hes birth date was January 1 1994 and not January 1 1992, which is printed in her passport.

Moreau told dpa that the age issue was first rested but "after receiving further information" the gymnastics federation was asked to take "a proper look" into it.