6 Nov 2010

Gymnast banned for twoyears

5:30 am on 6 November 2010

The North Korean gymnast Hong Su Jong has been banned for two years by the International Gymnastics Federation for lying about her age.

The Federation provisionally suspended Hong, a silver medal winner on the vault at the 2007 world championships, last month after discovering she had registered for various international events claiming to be three different ages.

At the Athens Olympics in 2004 Hong was registered as having been born in 1985 but the year 1989 was given for the worlds in Rotterdam last month when she was excluded.

At the same time, she was registered with a birthdate of 1986, at the 2007 world championships, where she won the silver medal on vault.

If Hong was born in 1989, she would have been ineligible to compete in Athens. Gymnasts must turn 16 in the calendar year of an Olympics in order to be eligible.