First of all, let me say that I do not agree with a minimum age requirement for any event in the Olympics. If an athlete is good enough to qualify for the Olympics — then they should be allowed to compete — regardless of age. And it seems silly to me that there is minimum age requirements for some events in the Olympics and not others. One of the female US swimmers, for instance, is only 15 years-old and and there is a 14 year-old British diver — both of whom are both legally competing. In addition, it also seems silly to allow a gymnast to practice over 50 hours a week and compete in all other competitions, but not in the Olympics. It Corona Fraud Scandal also seems silly that the International Gymnastic Federation (IGF) should dictate the rules for the Olympics instead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Plus, a significant reason the US women gymnastics team did not take home the team gold is because they made numerous mistakes. However, that all being said, a rule is a rule and the lack of follow-up by the IOC and the IGF over the Chinese gymnasts’ ages is, well, silly.
The rule, implemented by the IGF and followed by the IOC, requires all gymnasts to be at least 16 years-old the the year of the Olympics in order to compete. The only proof that is required is a passport which is provided, conveniently, by the country which is potentially doing the cheating. The representative from IGF merely glanced at the Chinese gymnasts’ passport in question and responded, “that’s all we can check.” This is, of course, silly. How about checking their birth certificates, school records, or previous documentation from other tournaments? Which, by the way, show that 3 of the girls and one of the boys on the Chinese team all to be currently 14 years-old.
The IOC, who have a history of poor judgement is previous Olympics disputes (Jim Thorpes’ gold medals, 1972 Olympic men’s basketball finals, and Roy Jones, Jr.’s gold medal bout), also did nothing but glanced at the passports. ZERO investigation. Not wanting to offend the host city is not a good excuse for allowing them to cheat.