I know.

The title could definitely use some work.

But, to be honest, in my humble opinion, the topic I’m covering today might be the most controversial of them all.

A few nights ago, the Women’s team gymnastics final came down to Alicia Sacramone of Team USA performing well on both the beam and the floor exercise. To the distress of her teammates, two untimely falls cost Sacramone and the USA the gold medal, which eventually went to China.

Here’s the problem. That might not even matter, depending on who you ask.

According to numerous US media outlets, members of the Women’s Chinese gymnastics team, the team that won gold a few nights ago, are ineligble.

Without getting into to much detail, because you don’t read my column to read every inch of what’s going on, you read it for the CliffNotes version, here’s the meat and potatoes:

China won the gold medal in the women’s team overall. Team USA finished in 2nd. In articles dating back as far as Nov. 2007, gymnasts from the Chinese team are documented as being as young as 13 at the time, which would make it impossible for them now 9 months later to be 16.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee), whom is in charge of making sure all athletes competing in the games are eligible, claim they are not responsible for determining whether or not the gymnasts in question are in fact of age.

Apparently, all you need to claim your eligibility for the Olympics is a passport showing your age. Whom issues these passports? The government of each country. So, China issues Chinese passports, the United States issues US passports, etc.

The IOC is claiming it is up to China to investigate the issue, stating that they reviewed the passports and all the girls were age eligible.

Here’s my question.

So you expect the government of a China to investigate it’s own team, risking shaming not only its team, but its team’s country AND its country as a whole since they are the host country, when no one else can prove otherwise?

Yeah.

(Cue: Rafael Palmeiro’s “I have never used steriods, period.”)

Just like Palmeiro admitted to using steriods after he’d been caught, too.

You want to know what’s the sad part.

The IOC won’t do anything about this. They’ve said they won’t, and trust me, they really won’t. They’re too scared to.

Whether it be from the backlash from the Chinese people, the Chinese government, or just China as a team, country, and host of the Olympics, they’re scared. They don’t want to cause an uproar.

Here’s the problem with that logic. They’re too late.

The Chinese people might not be upset, but the American people sure as hell are.

The double standard is becoming a common trend in this year’s Olympics. Not only with Women’s gymnastics, but with Men’s basketball as well.

Before the Redeem Team completely demolished Spain Saturday (we’re on China’s calendar, remember), the Spanish team is also in the midst of its own controversy.

(enter picture of Team Spain doing something very stupid, a team with NBA players on it)

 In what I can’t describe as anything other than a lack of judgment, or a complete act of stupidity, the men’s basketball team posed for a picture in which everyone on the team pulled back the skin near the corner of their eye’s, in order to appear slant eyed.

Here’s the kicker: The photo was taken as an advertisment for the team’s sponsor, Li-Ning, a Chinese company.

Spokespeople for the team have claimed it was all in good fun, that the picture was taken to show their connection with the Chinese people?

Are…you…fucking…serious? (pardon my language folks)

I, personally, am appalled that

1) Any of these gentlemen, whom should all be intelligent enough to know that this was a dumb idea, went through with this

2) Pau Gasol, who claims he was “broken down mentally” into doing it, was not man enough to not do something that his words dictate he knew was stupid

3) A newspaper in Spain would consider running such a photo.

4) David Stern has not issued some statement, or started reprimanding the NBA players involved in the photo.

Jason Kidd said it best, that if Team USA did that, they would already be out of the Olympics. That suspensions and fines would be waiting for them when they got back home. Basically, that they would be looked at as an embarrassment to not only themselves and the NBA, but the entire United States of America.

Instead, the people of Spain, as well as members of the team, as trying to defend their actions however possible. Take Toronto Raptors guard Jose’ Calderon.

“We thought it was something appropriate and that it would be interpreted as affectionate. Nevertheless, some of the European media did not see it this way. I would like to say that we have a huge respect for the Orient and their people, some of my best friends in Toronto are from China and one of our Spanish national team sponsors is the Chinese brand, Li Ning.”

It’s a double standard of being American. We’re supposed to know better, whereas because of the differences in culture, the Spanish get a pass. But that should not stop the NBA players involved from being disciplined.

The players of the NBA know all too well, when you’re in Stern’s league, you’re on the clock all-day, everyday. The Gasol brothers and Calerdon do not deserve a free pass on this, because believe this, Carmelo Anthony would not get one, and neither would Allen Iverson.

In all honesty, it’s been quite hard to enjoy the Olympics with such controversy swirling around it. Aside from Michael Phelps everyday superman-like performances, and the re-birth of American dominance in men’s basketball, I’ve stayed away from the Olympics.

It’s the same reason why I worry about professional basketball, and now, why I cannot look at the Olympics the same.

If the two sporting events I enjoy the most have even a shred of doubt as to the fairness of the games, I can’t enjoy it.

But that’s just me.

The following two photos are the ones in question. As an Asian man, you’re not convincing me those girls are 16. Hell, they don’t look 13. And as far as the Spanish Men’s basketball team.

Damn.

 

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