Genetic Enhancement in Sport: Just Another Form of Doping?
Maxwell J. Mehlman
Affiliation: Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law, Director, The Law-Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Keywords: Genetic, enhancement, sports, genetic testing, olympics, world anti-doping association, in vitro fertilization, preimplantation
genetic diagnosis, genetic information nondiscrimination act, recombinant DNA
Patented genetic technologies such as the ACTN3 genetic test are adding a new dimension to the types of performance
enhancement available to elite athletes. Organized sports organizations and governments are seeking to prevent
athletes’ use of biomedical enhancements. This paper discusses how these interdiction efforts will affect the use and
availability of genetic technologies that can enhance athletic performance. The paper provides a working definition of enhancement,
and in light of that definition and the concerns of the sports community, reviews genetic enhancement as a result
of varied technologies, including, genetic testing to identify innate athletic ability, performance-enhancing drugs developed
with genetic science and technology, pharmacogenetics, enhancement through reproductive technologies, somatic
gene transfer, and germ line gene transfer.
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