Forget 16; they aren't even 14. One of them looks the same age as the girl who was lip-syncing at the Opening Ceremony. If those girls were from Israel, they'd be getting ready for their Bat Mitzvahs right about now. So why is the IOC letting this go? They'll strip a medal away from a wrestler who doesn't want it and take back medals from a relay team that won in 2000, but when it comes to enforcing a clearly stated rule that aided in multiple gold medals, the IOC gets cold feet? What, it'd be rude to offend the Olympic hosts by actually looking into these allegations?
The breadth of the IOC's investigation was, essentially, to ask China if the girls were 16. The Chinese said yes. Case closed!
Why is the IOC accepting China's explanation (passports) when multiple reports indicate that the girl's ages (younger than 16) were well-known within the gymnastics community? China produces some passports and everything's good? Hasn't the IOC seen The Bourne Identity? Don't they know how easy it is to doctor a passport? Kids make fake IDs on Photoshop, and the biggest country in the world can't work up some phony paperwork? Like the IOC would ever believe the United States in the same situation.
Debate all you want about whether the age-requirement matters, that's not the point. The rule exists and therefore must be enforced. The IOC has chosen to look the other way and, as a result, has compromised the already-shaky integrity of Olympic gymnastics.
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