Gene doping of the future

In an age where athletes are willing to subject themselves to severe and unnatural methods of artificially increasing their performance, the threat of gene therapy coupled with doping could prove to be an Achilles heel to legitimate sport. If taking pints of blood out of their body only to modify and put back in wasn’t enough, what would happen if genetic doping became the new underground trend?

American Tour de France winner Floyd Landis knows how painful it can be to field accusations about doping. When officials found an excess of testosterone in his blood, it threw the entire race into question. But considering he has been taking cortisone for a degenerative hip, the possibility of whether he was illegally doping or not is still in the air. These type of tests can introduce false positives into the mix, but gene therapy could prove to be totally undetectable and foolproof.

What will happen if and when athletes decide to tamper with their genetic structure in the name of winning? By using the common cold virus, doctors would be able to smuggle in super genes to increase stamina and performance. And don’t forget the health implications either: marathon mice that underwent such modifications died much faster than the others. Gene therapy could redefine modern medicine, but we still have a long way to go in understanding it all.

Author by Adams Briscoe