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Gymnastics governing body clears age speculation at Olympics
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Gymnastics governing body FIG confirmed on Saturday the age eligibility of all gymnasts competing in the Beijing Olympics.

"The FIG has received confirmation from the International Olympic Committee that all passports are valid for all gymnasts competing in the Beijing Olympic Games," FIG said in a statement in athlete age eligibility questions recently raised in the media, particularly from the United States.

Some doubted that two Chinese female gymnasts had registered with false date of birth and are actually under age for the Beijing Games.

But FIG declared that stringent control measures had been taken at the time of athlete accreditation for all official FIG competitions.

"Further, all athlete ages for the Beijing Olympic Games are consistent with the FIG records for all past FIG competitions," it added.

The accepted proof of a gymnast's eligibility for competition is a valid passport issued by the country of residence. Minimum age for both Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics is 16 years by December 31 in the competition year.

The Olympic gymnastics competition started earlier on Saturday with women's team event expected to be a two-way battle between the hosts and the United States.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2008)

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