As a follow-up to reporting on the Olympics about questions over gymnasts’ true ages, it has now been reported that Guangdong Province has found that thousands of youth athletes have faked their ages in order to compete. From Reuters:
The result showed 3,000 were older than they claimed, 2,000 of whom were no longer eligible for any youth sport and 1,000 who should have competed in different age categories. Ye said 16 athletes in one event had faked their age and the worst offenders were up to seven years older than they were allowed to be.
Funding follows success in China’s state-run sports system so officials at city and provincial level have long been suspected of using overage players to help them win tournaments.
China was accused of adding years to the age of two gymnasts so they would be eligible to compete at last year’s Olympics after media reports indicated the gold medallists might be younger than 16.