The idea of using genetic testing to spot future world-class athletes has been bandied about for years. Now, Uzbekistan hopes to get a jump on the competition by testing children as young as 10 to determine their athletic potential.
Rustam Muhamedov, director of the genetics laboratory at Uzbekistan’s Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, announced the program for “sports selection at the molecular genetic level” on January 5 in the government-owned Pravda Vostoka newspaper.
He said in an interview that the program, overseen by Uzbekistan’s Academy of Sciences, would be “implemented in practice” in early 2015 in cooperation with the National Olympic Committee and several of the country’s national sports federations—including soccer, swimming, and rowing.
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