ⓘ Dong Fangxiao is a retired Chinese international gymnast who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She claimed a bronze medal with the Chinese team at the Olymp ..

                                     

ⓘ Dong Fangxiao

Dong Fangxiao is a retired Chinese international gymnast who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics. She claimed a bronze medal with the Chinese team at the Olympics, as well as the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin China, but both the medals were stripped from her and her teammates when it was discovered she had competed underage.

                                     

1. Gymnastics career

Dong Fangxiao began gymnastics at an early age. She was a member of her provincial team by the age of seven and was invited to join the Chinese National Team at the age of ten. In 1999, though by FIG rules she was too young as a thirteen year old, she began illegally competing as a senior gymnast internationally. At the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin China, Dong helped the Chinese team illegally claim a bronze medal. Individually she placed 6th in the all-around, 4th in the floor exercise final and 7th in the balance beam event final. Dong was again illegally named to the senior Chinese team for the 2000 Olympics, still too young to compete now at the age of fourteen. Her strong performances again helped the Chinese squad steal a bronze medal in the team competition. Dong qualified for the all-around, floor, and vault event finals, but placed out of the medals on all three events; 25th, 6th, and 7th respectively.

After the Olympics she continued to compete for the Chinese team, participating in the 2001 East Asian Games, the University Games and the World Cup circuit. Dong retired from gymnastics in 2001 at the age of 15 due to bone necrosis in her leg. As reference, at the time of her retirement from gymnastics in 2001, Dong was still age ineligible to compete internationally as a senior as her 16th birthday didnt fall until the 2002 calendar year.

                                     

2. Age falsification

During her competitive career, Dong competed under a passport that gave her date of birth as 20 January 1983. However, when she was certified to work as a technical official at the 2008 Summer Olympics, she was registered with a 23 January 1986 birthdate. In addition, Dong gave the same date of birth on her CV. The 1986 birthdate would have made her 13 in 1999 and 14 at the Olympics – two years below the minimum age required by the International Federation of Gymnastics.

After an investigation, the FIG ruled that Dong had been underage and ineligible to compete as a senior in 1999 and 2000. Consequently, Dongs scores from both the 1999 Worlds and 2000 Olympics were nullified. In April 2010, the International Olympic Committee stripped the 2000 Chinese Olympic gymnastics team of its bronze medal in the team competition. The Chinese team was also stripped of their team medals from the 1999 World Championships. In addition, the FIG billed the Chinese Gymnastics Federation for the cost of the inquiry.

Chinese sports fans were critical of the Chinese sport governing body, rather than the International Olympic Committee, as being pushed to compete underage caused her irreparable knee damage. Netease sports columnist Li Jiayang wrote "Competing for her local team in the Chinese National Games, she damaged her knee permanently, in order to win an Olympic medal for the national team, her age was hidden I dont dare to use the word falsify which may cause trouble and she has been humiliated. It’s enough to make you cry.”

                                     

3. Personal life

As of 2010, Dong Fangxiao lives in New Zealand with her husband, where she works as a gymnastics coach at Eastern Suburbs Gymnastics club. As of 2015, she had a baby boy, born in 2014.

                                     
  • discovering team member Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the time of the Olympics. Note: In April 2010, the results of Dong Fangxiao from this event were struck
  • of team member Dong Fangxiao the team were officially disqualified in March 2012, with the bronze medals awarded to Ukraine, and Dong s results from
  • stripped by the IOC in 2010 after one of the Chinese team members, Dong Fangxiao was found to be underage during the competition. In March 2012, the
  • investigation by the International Gymnastics Federation along with teammate Dong Fangxiao Yang Yun was found to be innocent due to insufficient evidence in February
  • 25. Each country was limited to two competitors in the final. Note: Dong Fangxiao CHN originally placed sixth with 9.357, but she was disqualified in
  • her toe, tripped, and fell out of bounds on floor exercise. Finally, Dong Fangxiao was found in 2010 to have been 14 years old, two years under the minimum
  • 24. Each country was limited to two competitors in the final. Note: Dong Fangxiao CHN was disqualified on April 28, 2010 due to the discovery that she
  • into two athletes from these games. In February 2010, FIG ruled that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 during the Sydney Olympics, two years younger than the minimum
  • the Chinese team were Disqualified for the false age of team member Dong Fangxiao 2002 Europeans This was Alona s most Successful competition internationally
  • International Olympic Committee in 2010 after one of the team members, Dong Fangxiao was found to have been underage during the competition. After retiring
  • stripped by the IOC in 2010 after one of the Chinese team members, Dong Fangxiao was found to be underage during the competition. In March 2012, the