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China set to be stripped of Sydney Olympics bronze medal for false birth certificate

Posted by Author on February 26, 2010

AFP via Herald Sun, Australia, Feb. 26, 2010-

could be stripped of their 2000 Olympics women’s gymnastics team event bronze medal after one of its athletes Dong Fangxiao was found to be under age.

Gymnast Dong Fangxiao, who competed in the women’s gymnastics team event, claimed she was 17 years old at the time of the Sydney Games, but an investigation by the International Gymnastics Federation discovered she was just 14, well below the strict minimum age of 16.

Chinese teammate Yang Yun, a bronze medallist in the team event as well as the uneven bars and who was also under investigation, was cleared of breaking the rules but issued with a warning.

Dong’s results in Sydney have been cancelled and the International Olympic Committee will be asked to withdraw the bronze from the Chinese team.

“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,” said the organisation’s president Bruno Grandi.

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Dong’s case came to light at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she applied for accreditation as a team official when she declared her birth date as January 23, 1986, which would have made her 14 during the Sydney Olympics.

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