2 Oct 2008

Chinese gymnastics cleared of being underage

7:58 am on 2 October 2008

The International Gymnastics Federation says Chinese female gymnasts who competed at this year's Beijing Olympics were not underage after investigating claims the Games hosts fielded ineligible athletes.

The Federation had asked the Chinese federation to submit documents proving the birthdates of five members of the gold-winning team -- He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, Li Shanshan, Deng Linlin and Yang Yilin.

The International Olympic Committee had specifically asked the FIG to investigate double Olympic gold-medallist He, who was registered as 16 although online media reports suggested she may have been 14.

Gymnasts must turn 16 in the year of an Olympics to take part.

The Federation says 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.