China regrets FIG's sanction on former Chinese artistic gymnast Dong Fangxiao

Updated: 01 Mar 2010
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Dong Fangxiao


The Chinese Gymnastics Association (CGA) on Saturday expressed strong regret to International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)'s sanction on former Chinese artistic gymnast Dong Fangxiao.


In a press release, the CGA said," From the concrete and objective evidence available, there is no problem in Dong Fangxiao's age and thereafter we feel greatly regret to FIG's sanction."


Earlier on Saturday, the FIG said on the front page of its website that its executive committee had decided to withdraw the bronze medal obtained by Ms. Dong with the Chinese team at the Sydney Olympics and to cancel all her results gained in the world championships, world cup series and world cup final in the period of 1999-2000.


The FIG said," Qualification rules for the Sydney Olympics required that an athlete be a minimum of 16 years old in the year of the Olympics. Dong's registration with the IOC and the FIG indicated a Jan. 20, 1983 date of birth. But she declared her birth date as Jan. 23, 1986 during the Beijing Olympics when she was accredited to act as Secretary at vault."


The CGA said," We have long been cooperating with the FIG on the investigation of this matter and already provided the FIG, as requested before the investigation, with the relating information in detail."


"We will further find out the relating information of this matter and reserve the right for explanation or appeal," the CGA added.


It noted," the CGA has been constantly strengthening and perfecting the administration of gymnasts, seriously practicing FIG Statutes and Regulations and shall strictly check every detail on gymnasts' participation."


Related news:


Chinese Olympic champion gymnasts cleared over age


Chinese female gymnasts suspected of being underage at the Beijing Olympics have been cleared by the International Gymnastic Federation (FIG) but the women's team that won the bronze medal in the Sydney Games in 2000 will face further investigation.


The FIG said on Wednesday in a statement that the documentation provided confirms that all Chinese women Olympians were old enough after a five-week investigation.


"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," said FIG.


The investigation into the Chinese 2008 Olympic team was launched just before the end of the Beijing Olympics on 24 August when questions were raised during this summer's Games.


Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to compete but some claimed He Kexin, who won gold in both team and individual uneven bars events, was just 14.


There were also allegations that four other Chinese female gymnasts, Yang Yilin, Jiang Yuyuan, Deng Linlin, and Li Shanshan were too young.


The FIG said that they considered that the case was now concluded.


"The FIG has shared its conclusions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which originally requested the inquiry," it added.


However, the federation is still looking at the ages of Dong Fangxiao and Yang Yun in the Chinese 2000 squad.


"The FIG does not consider the explanations and evidence provided to date in regards to these athletes as satisfactory," it said.


Some suggested that Dong and Yang, who also clinched a bronze medal on the uneven bars in 2000, were only 14 in Sydney.




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