Can He Kexin’s age be determined by science?

16 or not? Science cant provide an exact answer.

China's He Kexin: 16 or not? Science can't provide an exact answer.

No, says this article from Time Magazine. Medical science has evolved to a point where, given blood and tissue samples, a person’s age can be determined to within about two years. But there are no definites.

The lingering questions highlight one of the few areas in sports science today that remains untestable. Researchers can screen for illegal substances, determine your gender, and tell you whether you’re fighting a cold, all from a few blood and tissue samples. But they still cannot definitively determine a person’s age. The existing tests can come close, probably to within two years, but that’s the best that current methods can do. And two years is exactly the age gap in question with the Chinese female gymnasts.

So, barring a statement like Sydney bronze medalist Yang Yun made on Chinese television, we’ll never really know. Despite the International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG’s) inquiry and probe into Chinese gymnasts’ ages, all China has to do is supply documents — any documents — showing birthdates “proving” team members are 16, or 15 in the case of Yang Yilin, and the investigation will be over.

9 Responses to “Can He Kexin’s age be determined by science?”

  1. Diana Williams Says:

    Age can be determined by x-rays of the wrist and the teeth. Dentists use them to determine if growth has stopped. Very easy and simple. I could tell you if she is 16 or not within an hour.

  2. TCO Says:

    They could look. They could ask for original documents (if only recent revisions available, that shows something.) They could do separate interviews (see if get same story). They could submit documents to forensic evidence. They could even go to home towns and do some door to door investigation. Stir the shit around. See what you come up with.

  3. MAC Says:

    Is it true in Chinese culture one is considered to be one year old at birth? If so, could this be used as a way to convince the girls that they are not being dishonest by having their ages changed? Their responses sound as if they have been coached or brainwashed to respond a certain way. No one expects them to necessarily look like the American girls in size but some don’t look like they have hit puberty, for sure!

  4. mrsolis Says:

    Yeah sure… And they are going to display all this investigation procedures all over China just for a bunch of Sore losers. Whatever…

  5. Chris Says:

    there is no way half those girls are 16. NO way. And there’s too many coincidental “mistakes”: wrong ages being published in more than one new service and then being disabled when people discovered them. Unfortunately they will never be able to prove it and China will get away with cheating, like they did in the past. Which is unfair to all of the athletes and teams who played by the rules. And it’s not being a sore loser…it’s called expecting a level playing field where everyone follows the rules.

  6. Katrina Says:

    Actually Medicine can determine: Forensic Dentistry. There are certain age ranges were teeth come in. For example. age on bodies (they don’t need to get dead, just need x-rays) is sometimes determined when and if the jaw has the third molars otherwise known as Wisdom teeth. There are other indications in teeth on age.

  7. purerichard Says:

    With respect to mrsolis, its not about being a sore loser. Being a sore loser is when you complain about results where there is no evidence to support you. This is about a history of age falsification, a trail of conflicting records spanning several years, and a pattern of cover up. Katrina and TCO are correct, there are ways to figure it out. This should be done for the sake of The Games, which are supposed to be about fair play.

  8. Nik Says:

    But it wouldn’t be conclusive enough to say whether someone is 14 or 15. Its not like the dental x-rays can pin point a date of birth.

    The FIG has already stated that all they have juristiction over is checking the passports and thats all they will be able to do. And they’ve already done that once before. It sucks that there are rule breakers but thats just how it goes I guess.

    BTW did anyone else think Kexin looked older than Yilin? I thought so. I also noticed that the Chinese team had breast cups sewn into their leotards to give the illusion that they were developing.

  9. Nicki Says:

    You guys should write stuff about that up and coming actor Logan Noh on here, especially since he was a competitive gymnast for his whole life and was a judge his senior year of high school. also because now all the blogs are saying that he is dating Alicia Sacramone

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