Gymnastics world body chief suspects cheating by China

March 3rd, 2009 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Yang YilinBerlin, March 3 (DPA) The president of the world body of gymnastics (FIG) Bruno Grandi has said there were believable indications that China had cheated over the age of some of their gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics last year.
“There were strong indications, but I did not handle the investigation. I had to accept the official documents that I was shown at face-value, I am not a policeman or Interpol,” he told the German gymnastics magazine Leon.

“If I find out that there was cheating, I can act. I gave everything to the IOC and they investigated the issue. They gave us their findings and we looked at them, but there was nothing.”

He said that if people found forged documents on the internet they would have to have legal proof that they were forged. “I have to respect the documents that the Chinese state gives me. What else should I do - declare war on China?”

In Beijing, rumours surfaced that Chinese gymnasts He Kexin, Jiang Yuyan and Yang Yilin had not yet obtained the Olympic minimum age of 16 after reports showed the age of the gymnasts as just 13 in 2007.

But nobody could provide proof that the documents used for Olympic registration had been forged.

The former US gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi said at the time that age-cheating was like doping. “Official documents from a totalitarian system are meaningless,” he said.

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