Qing Wenyi Gone With No Autopsy: Whither Child Protection In International Sport?

Qing Wenyi: a champion in October, cremated 2 days after her sudden death in November [images from China TV stills]

Editorial: What could top a week of scandal and shame in world sport? Death, perhaps. What might had been at work in the shadow of Qing Wenyi’s short life we will never know. Let’s be clear: we cannot say that doping was a cause of her death. Sadly, we can’t say it wasn’t either. And that rests on the shoulders of China and a sports system lacking rigorous child-protection checks and balances

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Editorial: What could top a week of scandal and shame in world sport? Death, perhaps. What might had been at work in the shadow of Qing Wenyi’s short life we will never know. Let’s be clear: we cannot say that doping was a cause of her death. Sadly, we can’t say it wasn’t either. And that rests on the shoulders of China and a sports system lacking rigorous child-protection checks and balances

Comments

Yozhik

I won’t be surprised if autopsy was actually done before cremation. I’m almost sure of that. Unless it was religious or cultural considerations of her parents and Chinese judicial systems leaves the decision up to parents regardless of any circumstances surrounding death it was in everybody interest including officials to figure out what’s happened.

Yozhik

Unless of course her death was not surprise for parents or for officials and autopsy wasn’t needed. In this case I hope that some day we will know the truth about her life. If this supposition is correct then child protection problem should be addressed very strongly in China.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I’d be surprised if it was done if we are to believe the Chinese media accounts within hours of the death of Qing Wenyi complete with the parents’ specific wish that NO autopsy be carried out so their daughter could RIP (no religious grounds cited in reports I’ve seen). That line was reported with a degree of haste and certainty. I would doubt that the parents had any inkling of what their daughter might have died of, unless they knew of some medical or genetic condition we are unaware of, in which case the questions would turn to ‘should she have been in elite training’. Either way there are troubling aspects to the case on a number of levels, including judicial and child-protection (as you suggest) as well as guardianship and the responsibility inherent in such things.

longstroke

This is a tragedy for the family of Qing Wenyi and also raises serious questions about sports governance. The death might have been due to a pre-existing condition, we don’t know. However, FINA should be asking a lot of questions here and should not be placated by the usual excuses of “national sovereignty” and “cultural sensitivities”. If it doesn’t take up this case with the CSA it will reinforce once again that it is not fit to run the sport.

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