Age Discrepancies for Chinese Skaters

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

  1. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    They call it age gate (or age-door) in Chinese too.

    National flower slippery contestants - national figure skating contestants

    international does not unite the symbol slippery - Does not match (what is in) International skating union.

    You didn't know skaters are slippery fragile flowers did you? :rofl:

    ETA:
    pinglun (in the url) is commentary in Chinese. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    barbk - it took me a bit to understand the English national slippery flower bit, and I speak and read Chinese :lol:

    In Chinese, figure skating is hua yang hua bing 花样滑冰,character by character it is flower-type-slippery-ice.
     
  3. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!

    The language resources on FSU are nothing short of amazing.
     
  4. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    Of course they did. I never doubted it. :rofl:

    It kills me too-that it's the athletes who will suffer the most if they were found out to have been cheating. :(
     
  5. softlip

    softlip Active Member

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    It is unrealistic for a single person too check all the info of all the other skating countries. However, being interested of the amount of typos/errors of other feds is fair enough. And other posters asked to look into other federations too for the sake of comparison and fairness.

    So, since I have no life :p here are my to samples: I compared the birth dates of to national team members on the respective official homepage with the birthdates on the ISU bios. (No syncro teams.)

    Japanease national team: 65 skaters. 20 skaters don't have an ISU bio. For the other 45 skaters there were no discrepancies.

    German national team: 58 skaters. 15 skaters don't have an ISU bio. For 18 skaters there were no birthdates on the fed's homepage. (Overlapping here.) Overall I was able to compare the birthdates for 33 skaters. No discrepancies here.

    That means I checked 78 skaters from two federations and I found not a single error/typo.
    The link to the "2007-document" in the first post isn't working anymore. How many skaters were listed there?
     
  6. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's a bigger question than just this investigation, I think.
     
  7. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is. But it relates to this and every other problem in skating. The ISU accepts or denies allegations etc. If the ISU isn't trusted, then it doesn't matter as much whether the federations are trusted, because it all stops at the ISU. Whether the federations are telling the truth or not is left to the ISU to decide.
     
  8. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    The plot thickens.

     
  9. a56

    a56 New Member

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    No solution to that. Everyone knows what happened when some prominent figure skating officials tried to set up a rival skating federation in 2003. :p :lynch: Down with Sally-Anne Stapleford, Ronald Pfenning, Britta Lindgren! :lynch: Plus, dear Speedy is going to be President of the ISU until he dies. :drama:
     
  10. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    Well, it doesn't even have to be team from Taiwan. Let's say, team of genealogists from several countries (perhaps 5 countries), and if possible choose the countries whose skaters have something to loose by Chineese cheating. (for example, if Wenjing Sui were not old enough to be at GPF in December 2010, Iliushechkina/Maisuradze were robbed of their bronze medal at GPF). I think the strongest discipline (and the one where the cheating would benefit most) is pairs, so why not choose the genealogists from Germany, Russia, USA, Canada, because they have got the strongest pairs and they have got something to loose if Chineese skaters are cheating.
     
  11. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. 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
     
  16. 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.
     
  17. 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 :(
     
  18. 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
  19. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    Soccer and basketball are two other sports in China that have had documented age problems.
     
  20. 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.
     
  21. 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.
     
  22. 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 ;)
     
  23. 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.
     
  24. 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.
     
  25. 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.
     
  26. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Thank you, jlai.
     
  27. 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
     
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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.;)