In Age Flap, IOC Lacks Spine

Committee kowtows to organizers, sponsors on China's gymnasts
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 4:58 PM CDT
Gold medal winner He Kexin faces persistent questions about whether she is too young to compete.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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(Newser) – After weeks of speculation about underage Chinese gymnasts and reports that at least two of them are not yet 16, the International Olympic Committee is investigating yet still sitting on its hands, Sally Jenkins writes in the Washington Post. The question “is whether the IOC is genuinely trying to govern in these Olympics, or whether it has become a mere bag man for Chinese organizers and corporate sponsors.”

Olympic cheating is nothing new, and the IOC has weighed in on controversies in the past. But the denials and flip-flops strongly suggest that this time around, the fox is guarding the henhouse. "The one thing we couldn't find in all of this intrigue was transparency," Jenkins writes. "Who are you going to believe, the Chinese government, or the Chinese government?"