Chinese gymnasts age scandal at Sydney (AUS) in OG 2000

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Dong-fangxiao-and-Yang-yunLausanne (SUI) FIG Office, February 27, 2010: The FIG Executive Committee has ruled in the case involving two Chinese gymnasts suspected of having falsified their dates of birth for the Olympic Games in Sydney (AUS) in 2000, putting an end to the proceedings.
In the case of Dong Fangxiao, the Executive Committee constituted that there was a violation to the FIG Statutes and Regulations. Consequently, the results obtained by Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games have been cancelled. The FIG Executive Committee decision was forwarded to the IOC Executive Board with the recommendation to withdraw the Bronze medal obtained by the Chinese Team including the results of Dong Fangxiao in Sydney. In addition, the FIG Executive Committee pronounced the cancellation of all results obtained by Dong Fangxiao at the 34th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 1999 in Tianjin (CHN), of all results obtained at the FIG World Cup Series 1999 – 2000 and at the Artistic Gymnastics 2000 World Cup Final in Glasgow (GBR) The costs of the disciplinary procedure are awarded to the Chinese Gymnastics Association.
The Committee decided that in the case of Yang Yun the concrete and objective evidence available is insufficient to prove that the birth date indicated on the official documents was falsified. Ms. Yang Yun is awarded with a warning for the declaration she made during the interview with CCTV5. The only mention of age in this case was on a television interview. The costs of the disciplinary procedure are awarded to the Chinese Gymnastics Association.
Considering the case of the Chinese Gymnastics Association, the FIG Executive Committee has decided to award the costs of all three proceedings of the Disciplinary Commission, for not having adequately controlled the birth dates of the gymnasts.
The decisions made by the FIG Executive Committee are final and effective immediately.
Case summary of Dong Fangxiao
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) was confronted with two cases of presumed violation of the age limit for participation in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Qualification rules for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games required that an athlete be a minimum of 16 years old in the year of the Olympic Games.
Ms Dong Fangxiao, competing for the Chinese Gymnastics Association (NF) from 1997 to 2001, participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and won a team Bronze medal. The gymnast was registered with the IOC, the FIG and her NF based on identification indicating a January 20, 1983 date of birth, implying therewith that she would have been 17 years old during the Sydney Olympics.
At the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008, the FIG discovered that the gymnast was accredited to act as Secretary at vault, for which she officially declared her birth date as January 23, 1986.
This birth date implies that she would have been 14 years old during the Sydney Olympic Games.
Case summary of Yang Yun
Formerly competing for the Chinese Gymnastics Association (NF), Ms YANG Yun participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games where she won a team Bronze medal and a Bronze medal at the Uneven Bars.
The gymnast was registered with the IOC, the FIG and her NF based on identification indicating a December 2, 1984 date of birth, implying therewith that she would have been 16 years old during the Sydney Olympics.
Before, during and after the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008, the media discovered an interview on CCTV5 where the gymnast admitted that she was 14 years old when she took part in the Sydney Olympics. The television report was the starting point for a FIG investigation and the launch of a legal process.
The process
Following these declarations, the FIG launched an investigation in October of 2008. Legal advice from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne confirmed the FIG as the competent authority to investigate the case and draw its own conclusions as to whether the age limit had been violated, and which subsequent sanctions should be issued. On June 20 2009, The FIG Executive voted to mandate the Disciplinary Commission to investigate and adjudicate the case involving the two gymnasts. On December 19 and 20, the Commission held a hearing at FIG headquarters in Lausanne, and submitted its findings and conclusions to the FIG Executive Committee.
The President stands firm
FIG President Prof. Bruno Grandi (ITA) has been a strong advocate of healthy age in gymnastics. The President does not waiver. He rigorously maintains that “young gymnasts cannot be manipulated. Athletes must be protected. To prevent such fraud in the future, a new licensing system has been implemented by the FIG “.

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