For many weeks during the Chinese gymnast scandal, lawyers have been scratching their heads over the rather dim-witted focus of the IOC on documents that can be (and have been in the past) altered by the Chinese government. Criminal lawyers are accustomed to expert testimony establishing the age of victims with considerable precision through x-rays and medical testimony. Various experts have now spoken out and called for simple x-ray examinations to confirm the age of the gymnasts through actual science rather than Olympic spin.
The call for literal transparency in the IOC investigation is not likely to go down well with the body, which is viewed as engaging in willful blindness on the issue for over a year when the controversy began, here. The IOC is known as a highly political and flawed organization (putting aside the rampant corruption that characterized prior games).
In a L.A. Times article below, Dr. David Seen, a forensic odontologist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center says that “It would be relatively easy” to confirm their ages. Indeed, it is so easy and non-invasive for the Chinese, says
Dr. Peter Hampl, president of the American Board of Forensic Odontology, “It’s almost incriminating if they don’t.”
While the constant exercise can effect estrogen production and have an impact on bone growth, the use of various bone indicators can adjust for that problem. Teeth can also be used as a secondary measure.
The question is why, with science available, has the OIC continued to ask for documents that are immediately suspect and in obvious contradiction. The Chinese have already blamed incriminating documents found by hackers and reporters as simply “poor recordkeeping.” FIG, the governing body, has already worked hard to avoid any effort to question the documents and insisted that such things as a passport issued by the Chinese government must be valid and true — after all it is a Chinese passport, here.
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