"Doping" is cheating. Cheaters can perpetrate the craft in any number of ways: bribers, drugs, ringers, rule violations, copying, plagiarizing, cutting corners. The fight against doping and steroids in sports is the fight against cheating.
Guys who argue for legalizing steroids and other PEDs deserve respect, and deserve their opinions aired. Why not? Respect those opinions because they are not calling for cheating. The drug cheats actually negatively affect those who wish to use PEDs in a legal way.
Apparently the Chinese government falls into the cheating category. So craved for international attention, the Beijing bureaucrats can't have enough success naturally, so they rigged the ages of the women's gymnasts (Epoch Times on unearthing evidence). As if no one could figure that out. When the corruption is pointed out, the Chines government once again falls back on tried and true tactics of putting up smoke screens like 'American and Europeans are large because they use steroids', or 'Westerners can't tell the age differences between Asian youngsters". Justice Anthony Kennedy noted...''Even a dog knows the difference in being stumbled over and being kicked.''
As much a fairy tale as the gymnastics competition has been for China, with the country snagging men's and women's team event golds and 14 of the 42 medals awarded in the sport in Beijing, the story may not have such a happy ending. Allegations that at least five of the six women's team members are younger than the International Olympic Committee (IOC) minimum age of 16 continue to fester, as documents with later birthdates for some of the girls have surfaced...
Under pressure to address "age-doping," the IOC asked the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) on Friday to re-open the Federation's previous investigation into the matter of the girls' ages. Prior to the competition, when rumors of the under-aged gymnasts first surfaced, the FIG had looked at the passports of the gymnasts and declared itself satisfied that the girls were at the lower-age limit of 16, not 14, as some earlier news reports on the girls had noted. Now, the FIG is asking the Chinese Gymnastics Association for further proof of the athletes' ages. The United States Olympic Committee also sent a letter to the IOC on Friday asking that the issue be resolved.
Be prepared for even more smoke screens. One of the original muckrakers, Stryde Hax, addresses even more documents that implicate the duplicitous Chinese officials:
Cui Dalin, the vice minister of the General Administration of Sport of China, said He Kexin, the uneven bars Olympic champion, had moved from one team to another last year, and a wrong birth date was written on the registration forms for the new team.
“During the registration, there were some discrepancies in the age of the athlete, therefore that mistake has led to a series of misunderstandings afterward,” Cui said during a closing news conference for the Chinese sports delegation here. “I can say for sure the age of the Chinese gymnasts comply with the rules.”
I think we can all breathe easier now that officials are beginning to address the problems that so many have observed. However having spent some time studying the documents, I'm concerned about what I perceive to be a discrepancy. The alleged mistake led to at least three separate Excel spreadsheets, now deleted, showing a birthday for Kexin of Jan 1, 1994. This in itself is interesting. However my interest is in Cui's statement that the change occurred "last year". Last year was 2007, and as alert readers of this blog will recall, the Internet Archive has kept two copies of a document published to sport.gov.cn which establishes Kexin's birthday as 1-1-1994. The problem here is that the Internet Archive saved one of these copies in June of 2006, two years ago. Additionally, when the document was stored in the Internet Archive, the document contained a publication date of January 27, 2006. Neither of these dates is in the least bit consistent with Cui's statement.
Age cheating is as old as the hills. We have seen parents, coaches, and officials cheat 10 year-old youngsters as they lie about age and geography of their children or players. Frankly, these cheater should be crushed or they continue their corrupt miscreant ways. Remember Danny Almonte's march to infamy as he humiliated 12 year-old Little League baseball players, which captivated the media? Almonte downgraded his age, which is the usual age cheat. Not so in gymnastics where younger means better. No shame these age dopers. Crush them.