According to a Yahoo! Sports blog, the IOC is going to open an official investigation on Chinese gymnast He Kexin’s age. This is also confirmed in an article on Times Online. This is a really long time coming, and shouldn’t surprise anybody that He is underage. This comes after a report that He is listed in Chinese documents as being of age 14.
I understand the IOC doesn’t want to be the one ruining China’s “coming out party,” but the party was already ruined with the ruthless speculation that came with the Chinese women’s gymnastics team’s performance.
Even if the Chinese women are confirmed to be underage (and it’s all been confirmed already), I don’t know what action the IOC can take. I’m sure they can wag their finger at China, but not much more. Since the Chinese government has access to everything, even private documents (including birth certificates), I’m not sure how much real difference it will make should the gymnasts be underage.
An international spectacle, a national embarrassment, yes. China might even get stripped of its women’s gymnastics medals, but who knows what the future will hold for the Chinese young (make that very young) women.