Two French scientists who validated Jeanne Calment's status as the oldest person ever to have lived, have dismissed claims by Russian researchers who say that she didn't really survive to 122.

Mathematician Nikolay Zak and gerontologist Valery Novoselov claim that Calment's daughter, Yvonne Calment, assumed her mother's identity decades earlier.

The Russians analyzed photographs, official documents and interviews to produce a body of evidence they acknowledge is circumstantial. Gerentology is the scientific study of old age.