20 percent of Chinese athletes fake ages

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Beijing, Mar. 13 (ANI): At least one in five Chinese athletes have lied about their age to participate in sports competitions, scientific screening has revealed.

An x-ray analysis of the bones of competitors at the Youth Games in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong discovered that 3,000 of the 15,000 athletes, or 20 per cent, had misrepresented their age.

Two thousand offenders were too old to be eligible for youth competitions, while one of them was seven years older than he claimed.

Age-faking caused embarrassment to China during last year's Olympic Games in Beijing, when gold medallist gymnast He Kexin was accused of being just 14 years old and ineligible. She was eventually cleared by the International Olympic Committee.

Guangdong's capital city Guangzhou is hosting the Asian Games next year, and the local Communist Party doesn't want any outcry during the event.

"We want to make sure fakers have no advantage," The Telegraph quoted Ye Xiquan, the deputy head of the sports bureau in Guangzhou, as saying.

All athletes who entered this year's Provincial Games were tested, as were the top eight in each category from last year.

Faking was so widespread that up to 16 competitors in a single event had cheated. (ANI)

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