Gene Doping in Sports: The Science and Ethics of Genetically Modified Athletes

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Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Temporarily Out of Stock Online Please check back later for updated availability. Overview Advances in genetics have begun to deliver on their promise of new and improved approaches to the prevention and treatment of human disease, including the gene-based therapeutics.

Average Review. Write a Review. Are we right to call them 'cheats'? Are we justified to ban them from playing sport? What if people are born genetically modified - would they be allowed to play sport? What if I am less genetically gifted than another athlete - should I be permitted to use gene doping to cancel out my disadvantage?

And what about if I have been injured while participating in sport - would I be allowed to use gene therapy to quicken the process of repair? These questions reveal that there is much more at stake here than just the ethics of sport and some fanciful notion of fair play or the 'natural' athlete.

Wada have already characterised genetic modification as another form of doping. But we would be far better off by permitting genetic modification in sport. It promises safer methods of enhancing performance than the use of synthetic drugs. This is a technology that athletes could learn to use effectively and safely and that would offer them far greater control over their bodies. GM is consistent with the values of elite sport. We expect world records to be broken and we thrive on witnessing increasingly extraordinary performances.

Genetic modification might not bring about a four-second metres any time soon, but it would allow us to continue improving performances. And, where athletes are approaching their natural limits, GM offers a safe, healthy way of making such changes. But sport also needs GM in order to shed light on the inadequacy of current anti-doping policies. The ethical basis of anti-doping has not been revised or questioned since it began in the s. Sport has changed radically since then and technology is now integral to an athlete's achievement.

But why are ethical debates about technical equipment and doping entirely separate in the world of sport?

The use of altitude chambers is a good example to show how complicated these discussions are. Why are these chambers permitted? How are they different from practices on the prohibited doping-methods list?

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