Age Discrepancies for Chinese Skaters

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by oleada, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    Because then this team of people could be considered to have something to gain by finding the Chinese guilty. The ideal thing to do would be to try and find people who were impartial, and therefore have nothing to gain or loose either way.
  2. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    Of course this team will have something to gain, but they would not have the power/resources to falsificate Chineese documents, so whatever they uncover will be the truth. Having something to gain will serve as a very strong motivation to do the job properly and it would guarantee that there is no cover up.
  3. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    That just does not make sense to me - if the argument goes - China cannot be trusted to investigate this properly, then the counter argument cannot be - the people most affected by this and therefore the people as likleyto be as partial as China but in the other direction, will be :confused:

    I agree with Angelskates - if you want truly impartial invesitgation then completely impartial people should do the investigation.

    Ant
  4. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    The trouble with finding truly impartial investigators is how do you propose to find them. And how do you guarantee that they will be truly impartial? Can they be bought? In theory ISU should be impartial, and as we know, it isn't. If the people who have something to gain will investigate, they are not able to falsificate some 20 years of chineese records, so if they uncover something, it is because there was something to uncover. If they don't uncover anything, there probably was nothing wrong with the records... Someone who has something to gain would have the persistance to be thorough, the motivation to do it properly. Someone who is impartial may not care enough, or may be bought by ISU or China, so the result of the investigation may be very superficial.
  5. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    And the motiviation to put a spin on the results found to suggest that their own agenda/arguments are met. Like i said, I would want an impartial investigation, otherwise you have one side saying they didn't falsify documents, the other side saying, they did, and you still need an independent third party to find out the truth. I;d rather skip to the end.

    To be honest i was being hypothetical and hadn't thought ahead to how you would pick the people because, frankly, this will never happen! Another barrier to finding the actual people who can do this will be language - you would need to find people who can speak and read Chinese fluently to do this sort of research so good luck finding anyone to fit the bill who everyone is happy with.

    The bottom line - if i want an impartial investigation carrying out I would not want partial people doing the invetigating (remember the WMDs?).

    Ant
  6. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    If you hire a professional auditing firm, there would be fewer personal agendas and less partiality.
    I've often felt that the elite judging should be audited by an impartial team, but we'd have to teach CPAs all about skating, lol.

    You'd also have to decide who HIRES the auditors and how they'll be paid because that in turn leads to favoritism and pressure.

    This would make a good White Paper for a business school - analyzing how something as simple as a reported birthdate can impact sporting events' outcomes.
  7. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    My Chinese accounting friend told me that internal auditing is almost nonexistent because of paperwork problems and under-the-table dealings :(
  8. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Which is why people should question the accuracy of the Chinese information systems and documentation.

    Auditability without fraud and deception is an important part of any organization, if they want to be taken seriously. At this point, the Chinese sports authority needs to clean up their act since FOUR of their sports have had problems. It wouldn't take much to create a central registry that all of the sporting groups must comply with, and have it audited regularly as a show of good will.

    In fairness, I've worked as an IT specialist for years with US companies who have clerks retype information from handwritten paper lists into Excel workbooks and various computer systems. Constant manual rekeying, which results in errors. However, Manual Systems 101 says you have someone proof the input, for accuracy and for process improvement. At best case, this was slipshod work and that needs to be addressed.

    I also agree that it does appear that there's a pattern here, which could mean deception and fraud. If I could make a suggestion to the list-keepers: please add the athlete's genders onto the list, so that others can understand the pattern you've identified more easily?

    Frankly, they shouldn't be insulted - they must have seen a challenge coming at some point, unless they're arrogant or dim-witted. Wouldn't someone in the figure skating group have noticed that there were discrepancies in the past? That's an indicator that you have to take action, but they didn't do it before others raised the issue.

    FWIW, do they really think anger and defensiveness is the correct response? That's how teenagers in the US act when they get caught doing something wrong, so most US residents with teens are immune to that response, lol. ("Yeah, yeah, the teacher was picking on you, but WHY weren't you in the classroom where you belonged?"

    If someone makes a mistake, they have man up and say "There's something wrong, we'll have to audit our athletes and take the consequences." Maybe it's not part of the Chinese culture? (I'm asking, not telling.) Still, if you play on an international stage, you have to sometimes put your own culture aside and try to understand others' cultures. In this case, the US likes rules in their sports and we expect EVERYONE who plays to follow them.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    Soccer and basketball are two other sports in China that have had documented age problems.
  10. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Thanks! I didn't know that. That proves the need for better infrastructure and auditability across the board. If you have multiple sports involved, then they can easily create an NCAA-like registration system to ensure accuracy.
  11. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    But you need people who understand what kinds of records might be available, and where they would be found, and how to interpret them, which is why I thought of genealogists from Taiwan -- they'd have the language skills, and would probably understand the types of documentation that would be good source material -- and that documentation might well vary depending on where the athletes were born and lived as young children. Professional genealogists are used to working with source data and conflicting data, and good ones in a certain sub-area (Emigrant Irish, Slovenian coal miners, Ruthenian emigrants from 1885-1910, ...) know a huge amount about the peculiarities of sources particular to certain groups, regions, religions, and cultures.

    I agree with Sylvia -- China has had documented cases of falsifying ages in gymnastics, soccer, and basketball. It isn't some wild stretch to imagine that they may have engaged in the same behavior in other sports where age limit falsification poses a significant advantage.
  12. bsfan

    bsfan New Member

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    The Wen Hui Bao(one of the major newspaper) quote mainly said that Hao was born in 1982, fully 5 years older and 16cm taller than Dan, who is about half the weight as Hao.

    google translation is so funny ;)
  13. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Thank you, Angelskates. This is exactly what I asked for several posts/pages above and was jeered at by most of the FSUers. The falsification of info is wrong...by ANY country. So if certain FSUers have so much time on their hands, how about doing a service to humanity and checking skaters of ALL countries who have competed in ISU championships or G-P-type events since age restrictions came about? I bet that we would find similar errors in the paperwork of skaters of other countries. Just as as similar 'age scandal' errupted over a Romanian gymnast in the Nadia Comaneci era...but when I pointed it out, some FSUers scoffed.
  14. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Frau_Muller -- nothing's stopping you. Look all you want. Maybe there are large veins of gold hidden in those Kansas cornfields. Anything's possible.
  15. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    An audit team can include people who aren't CPA's, so why not a documentation specialist? Good suggestion.

    There's a need for them to clean up their errors and take responsibility, regardless of the cause of the discrepancies. They need to demonstrate that they've studied and put their operations in order to prevent future screwups.
  16. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Thank you, jlai.
  17. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is anything that clear-cut listed. For FIG regulations, the statute of limitations if 5 years for disciplinary matters and 10 years for criminal cases. For the IOC, it's 8 years in doping cases and there was quite a bit of discussion and reasearch going on in early 2010 when China was stripped of its 2000 Olympic bronze in gymanstics to figure out if they still had the authority to do so without changing the by-laws that were already in place.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212053805495856.html
  18. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I actually tried to provide you with the name of the gymnast in question, namely Emilia Eberle. I'm not sure what additional research you'd like to do on this, since she's already come out and said her age had been falsified in several interviews, the RGF has admitted to it and the FIG is obviously not going to do anything about medals won 30+ years ago. No one claimed it was a 'clerical' error or anything of the sort. The RGF admitted to cheating some time around 2006, provided a (long!) list of gymnasts whose age had been falsified and basically 'promised not to do it again.'

    OTOH, China's age issues impact current skaters who are still potentially competing and winning medals in events they should not be age-eligible for. Sui/Han are headed to Junior Worlds and we're not entirely sure they should be there, for example. If you have any other athletes in mind from sports other than skating that you feel could be underage -and currently competing, why don't you start a thread under "Other Sports" and we could all go and discuss them in the appropriate thread?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  19. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Thanks, ioana. I had first pointed it out 4-5 days ago but did not recall the name of the gymnast, yet one or two FSUers scoffed. I am very happy that you remember the name of Eberle. Around that time (1980 Olys in Moscow), there was also general talk among North Am and Western European gymnastics circles about the "big bad Soviet blok" sending underage gymnasts, with photos of top Soviet and Romanian ladies (girls) with prepubescent physiques (totally flat chested), even if they were supposedly 16 or 17 years old. It's not just a Chinese thing to try to 'get the edge' in balletic sports by sending rail-thin competitors. [In pre-internet days, reporters could only go on photos and hearsay. ABC did at least one TV 'fluff' piece on the question of age among eastern-blok gymnasts, I remember.]

    On the 'current' vs 'past eras' matter - The early allegations in the current matter point not only to Sui/Han but to the results of some past championships, most notably the wins by Zhang/Zhang at Jr Worlds in the early '00s. If the under-/over-aged skaters are stripped of their medals then, for example, Yuko Kawaguchi and her old partner (skating for Japan) would become Jr World Champs of 2001. [The irony is that the two pair teams who would now win Junior Worlds titles, as a result of the findings, are both Japanese (Kawaguchi/Markuntsev and Takahashi/Tran). Pure coincidence...instant "Pair Power" for Japan!]
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  20. benedict_david

    benedict_david New Member

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    Thanks very much for doing that. That's a very interesting result, at least statistically.;)
  21. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    One tiny correction, only Yuko and Narumi are from Japan. Their partners (Yuko's former partner) Markuntsov and Tran are from Russia and Canada respectively. I wouldn't go so far as to say "Pair Power" for Japan since Japan seems to poo poo pairs skating. It's just a coincidence that they skated for that country either pair or both could have easily skated for Canada or Russia (which Yuko does now)
  22. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Both teams in question are Japanese. It was the flag of Japan that was hoisted in each case. The countries on the trophies/in the record books will be Japan.

    Had Yuko and "Russian Hunk #1" won the JrWorld title in 01, perhaps Japn would not have poo-pooed Pairs? I don't think they are now, with T/T.
  23. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    Frau Muller, liebchen, take another look at Post #1:

    The Zhangs were age-eligible for Junior Worlds in 2001.

    Or do you have any :sekret: information that you're withholding?
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  24. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    But you are making it sound like it's a whitch hunt so two teams from Japan can benfit and that is simply not true.

    And actually in the case of the Zhangs, K/M never got the change to see their flag hoisted as the champions, and even if they get the gold awarded later, they'll never get that moment back.
  25. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Right. But early-on in this discussion, it was being speculated by others (not I) that both of the Zhangs' Jr Worlds wins might be 'illegitimate' - the 2001 one due to the female being too young and the 2003 one for the male being too old.
  26. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Flags are hoisted for silver and bronze medalists at ISU events, no?

    Stop the witch hunt, pls. I have paid work to do. :lol:
  27. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Japan does not encourage pairs. Sasha could not get citizenship from Japan just like Tran cannot.
  28. mpal2

    mpal2 Well-Known Member

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    We'll just tell everyone that could have won gold but got silver to not be disappointed then since they got the medal ceremony. Then we'll tell the people that could have won bronze that it was only a bronze so they didn't miss much. I'm sure they'll agree. :rolleyes:
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  29. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    The ISU responded to the Associated Press today: http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/spor...o-discrepancies-for-olympic-silver-medallists
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  30. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Oh, get over yourself. This is not a personal campaign against you.
  31. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Zhang/Zhang cleared! Aww, sorry for Yuko...but Takahashi/Tran still have a chance of being named Jr World Champs of 2009/10, to give the title to Japan (and "Canada, sort-a").

    Thanks for the support, overedge. :)
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  32. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Oleada & others who did data grabs -- did you grab data for all sports, or just for skating?
  33. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably going to regret posting this, but....

    I'm really annoyed at the implication that I started this thread because I dislike the Chinese skaters (please, I dislike skaters from all countries :p) or because I want promising careers ended or because I have issues with the political system. This is not the case AT ALL. I did not go down stealthily hunting down birthdays because I wanted to prove that they were ineligible. The link was posted in another thread, and someone saw that Sui was ineligible. Looked up a few other names, a pattern came up. Found a few other links in that same website. It wasn't a witch hunt and if it had been Canada, USA, Mexico, Outer Mongolia, I would have acted the same.

    But....China has been found to fake birthdates, repeatedly, in multiple sports. Does that make me extra suspicious, especially when the pattern shows them to become eligible with the new birthdays? Well, duh. Who wouldn't? It's not about checking the birthdays of every single skater for every country. Sports operate on the assumption of everyone being on the same playing field, so if people submit a passport, an organization will accept it as true. But when birthdays come up in an official website as being different....then yes, you investigate then. IME, this hasn't been the case for Skate Canada or JSF or USFS.

    I do feel bad for the skaters who are involved, because I doubt they have much of a voice or opportunity to stand against a system, but I feel much worse for the skaters who they beat if they were competing when they weren't eligible. They'll never get the opportunity to stand on the podium or skate their free program.

    And I'm not sure what that one gymnast back in the 80s has to do with much. It was wrong then for Romania to do it and it's wrong now. Just because she wasn't caught or because it was found out after the statute expired, does not mean it's okay for other countries to get away with cheating.

    Sorry, barb, the answer is no.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
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  34. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Oleada, there's no doubt that you did NOT set about doing this on purpose, against individual skaters. You did well-intended research. Regardless, it may result in costing Sui/Han the Jr World title. And it may not. The choo-choo has left the station and it's now in the ISU's territory.
  35. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    Well, if he's too old, then they shouldn't even be there anyway.
  36. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    I tried to do the same thing for Uzbekistan, but the Federation doesn't have a website. :fragile:

    I did do some :sekret: investigation on Anastasia Gimazetdinova, though. She was second at Uzbekistani Nationals in 1997-98, and eighth at Four Continents in 1999. I'd say she's probably over the ISU's minimum age limit for seniors by now. :)
  37. johnet

    johnet New Member

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    deleted
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  38. DinDonShamu

    DinDonShamu New Member

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    Finally, the truth comes out. Gizmo is OF AGE! :cheer: :rofl:

    ETA: Just want to honor George Orwell with my current number of posts :sekret:
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  39. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Let's rephrase this question:

    Oleada & others, do you have unlimited time on your hands so that you were able to data grab for every sport on earth, whether or not you're interested in those sports & whether or not the other sports have age limits?
  40. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Ah, no... that's not why I was asking. :rolleyes:

    If they had happened to have grab info for other sports from the Chinese websites, investigating errors in reported ages in sports where age is not likely to be a significant factor (such as marathon and 10,000 meter runners, or weight lifters) then it might be interesting to see whether Chinese athletes sent to international competitions in those sports had birth dates that matched what was provided to the international federation for that sport. If their data is similarly messed up for these other sports, then one might reasonably say that Chinese data is a GIGO problem. If there are not the kind of age discrepancies we see in skating, then it causes one to think hmmm... if it is indeed random error, why just in skating?

    I thought that Oleada and others did some fine research. I don't read Chinese, but I have been involved in both auditing and statistical analysis, and just thought that this might be another possible way to assess the issue, which I might have been able to do had the data been grabbed.

    But thanks for looking out for Oleada's interests and schedule.
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