Perennial Chinese Basketball Association bottom-dwellers Xinjiang Guanghui made an unexpected run to the playoffs this season and were considered strong CBA title contenders with a regular season record of 26-4. But there will be no title for the Flying Tigers after they were stripped of most of their points disqualifying them from the playoffs. It turns out the team’s star point guard Guan Xiuchang wasn’t born in Heilongjiang, as claimed by the team but rather is a Vietnamese-American named Song Cun-sou. This minor technicality violates the CBA’s two foreigner per team rule. When first questioned, the team insisted he was from Heilongjiang. Under continued pressure, they provided fake papers identifying him as a citizen of Macau. Eventually his true identity came to light, though Xinjiang Guanghui inexplicably denies knowing Song was from overseas. Incredibly, Song apparently played for another team, Yunnan Honghe in 2004-05.
This makes me curious. How did they get away with this for so long? Did everyone know they were cheating but didn’t do anything about it until they were a title contender? That sounds most plausible to me. Or perhaps they actually fooled people into thinking he was Chinese. I’m guessing Song speaks some Chinese (he did play in China in 2004-05) and attempted to blend in somehow. Did they limit his contact with the media and other outsiders?