China Stripped Of Medal For Underage Gymnast. Not That One, The Other One

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Who could possibly forget the courageous 2000 USA women's gymnastics team, who captured America's heart, and captured a bronze medal — 10 years later, because one of the Chinese gymnasts was 14 years old?

Chinese gymnasts and Cuban pitchers; at this point, shouldn't we just adjust their stated ages by a couple years by default? This time it's Dong Fangxiao, who helped China to a bronze at the Sydney Olympics at the ripe old age of 16. Well, 14, actually, and that's against the rules. Their medal has been taken away, and the US team, previously in fourth, reaches the podium by the two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault.


Dong had claimed to be born in 1983, but she apparently dropped the pretenses once the games ended. On her own blog, she used a birth year of 1985. And when acting as a ceremonial secretary at the 2008 Beijing Games, she registered with that same 1985 birth date.

China kind of threw her under the bus, claiming she forged her own documents and tricked their Olympic committee. We find it hard to believe a 14-year-old girl could fool such a tightly run bureaucracy. But a 16-year-old girl, on the other hand...


The FIG was also investigating Dong's teammate, Yang Yun, but cleared her for a lack of evidence. The only evidence? Yang admitting on TV that she was 14 in Sydney.

IOC strips 2000 Games bronze medal from China [AP]