The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, which advises the Olympics and other sports organizations on illicit performance-enhancement, has accused Russia of carrying out a state-run doping program for its athletes. Russia could of course be just the tip of the iceberg.
Recently, WADA officials have become increasingly concerned that contestants might boost their strength, speed and endurance by fiddling with their genes.
In principle, gene therapy can be aimed at specific targets, such as fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscle cells…
How concerned should we be that the Olympians in Rio have fiddled with their genes? Not very, because so far gene therapy for humans has fallen far short of its hype.
There may be a few wannabe Olympians who risk their careers, health and lives by getting a rogue scientist to tweak their genes. But I doubt that genetic engineering will have a significant impact on the Olympics anytime soon.
…world-class athletes already possess advantages, including genetic mutations, that boost their performance. Maybe gene doping is just a way to level the playing field
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