IOC Strips China's 2000 Bronze Medal

Gymnast Dong Fangxiao was just 14 at the time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2010 10:23 AM CDT
In this Sept. 19, 2000 photo, Chinese gymnasts Yang Yun, left, and Dong Fangxiao wave flowers after winning the bronze in the women's gymnastic team finals at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

(Newser) – China was stripped of a bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics today for fielding an underage female gymnast, with the women's team medal now going to the US. The International Olympic Committee acted after investigations by the sport's governing body determined that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the 2000 Games. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible.

Dong's results from Sydney were nullified in February by the International Gymnastics Federation. Because her scores contributed to China winning the team bronze, the FIG recommended the IOC take the medal back. As expected, the IOC executive board upheld the request and formally stripped the medal on the first day of a two-day meeting in Dubai. Questions about Dong's eligibility arose during the FIG's investigation into the ages of China's team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

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