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


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The Science and Ethics of Genetically Modified Athletes

Then, the victory demonstrations, that passion becomes fanatic that can be in a competition would depend more on the creative aspect of dangerous and even fascistoid[26] the athlete, on the excellence of his character, on his tech- 2. In second place, the criticism based on the loss of nical decisions or on his ability to deal with risks, and not so emotion cannot be extended to all sport practices.

The im- much on accidental circumstances resulting from genetic provement of technical factors via the use of performance lottery[30], or on the economic power of a country[31]. Tamburrini points out that it is fair to sults due to the inequality of the competitors is relatively say that it would affect those sport practices in which the weak if we examine that in the current historical context. In the situation at jumps, or throws of weights, javelins, etc [27].

But there is issue an athlete who has made a great effort in his training no doubt that there are other sport disciplines where the and in improving his physical talents is in general unable to relevant factor for success and victory is not the measure of defeat another that has the luck of being genetically better some skill but the athlete's creative element.

In this type of equipped.

The question is if it would not be fairer for the games where other factors rather than the purely temporary sport practice that athletes had greater gene equality. In that are involved, the influence of the doping substances would framework, the victory would not depend on the gene factor be smaller and therefore, the unpredictable emotional com- but instead on the effort made, or on the excellence of their ponent would still exist. As Tamburrini points out, personality or technical skills[32]. None of the types of genetic enhancement 3. In the third place, sport would not necessarily lose its of athletes would affect sport negatively.

As Tamburrini popularity if athletes used gene doping. The current eting and clearly points out in reference to the flow and skill elements professionalisation of sport does not seem to have affected of sport, the situation would remain equal if athletes were its popularity. On the contrary it could be argued that quite genetically modified. It could even be argued that both ele- the opposite has occurred.

It is possible that the same phe- ments would improve if athletes were genetically treated. On the other hand, If we consider the other elements of the game, the balance even in those sports where in recent technical improvements would also be favourable in terms of gene technology.

If enhance- interest not decreased, it has actually risen[29] ments were medically controlled and criteria were estab- Additionaly, more general responses to the objections to lished for their implementation for every sport practice, it is gene doping are that: 1 the physical improvements derived likely that competitions would be more equal than is the case from the genetic interventions would not be so great as to now. Although it is impossible to predict future scenarios 1.

Some people think that genetic physical enhancement If these objections are examined taking in consideration would be so extraordinary that equality among athletes the somatic treatments referred to in the chart, then is possi- would disappear altogether. But, in fact, this perception is ble to conclude that: rather exaggerated. Actually, the impact of gene technolo- 1. Gene doping, at least in its current situation, does not among competitors nor the harm principle would be affected.

Of course, in order to accept such treatments other medical official control. If the genetic interventions are of transhuman type, the Such a commitment would need to entail making elite sports specific features of sport do not seem be affected negatively. Somatic transhuman modifications: as in the case However, with regard to the equality among competitors it above, this kind of enhancement interventions would not be seems obvious that if genetic interventions are of transhuman affected by the objections based on the harm principle.

But type, the current sport practices will be altered substantially. The problem would arise if there were trans- provements and non-genetically treated athletes could human and non-transhuman athletes in the same competi- compete together in the same contest would completely tion. A possible solution could be to establish separate distort the results and that would deprive the sport of ex- competitions for this type of transhuman athletes.

Germline enhancements and transhuman germline in- Nonetheless, the solution is not necessarily forbidding terventions: both cases would be affected by the harm prin- such modifications; instead it would be reasonable to estab- ciple given that germline research and tests performed up to lish new and separate contests for those transhuman ath- now show that they are still in an early stage and it is im- letes.


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For this reason, the recom- mendation, at least provisionally is that they remain forbid- den until scientific evidence can certify that this genetic 4. Conclusions modifications will not affect the health of offspring. Only in this limited area of genetic enhancement I agree with Genetic performance enhancement in sport is almost un- MacNamee when says that we are mortal beings, our vul- avoidable and therefore, it is necessary to establish rational nerability to disease, injury and the waning of our powers far criteria on gene doping.

In the previous pages I have exam- from something we can overcome or eliminate, represent ined some relevant arguments that can be taken into con- natural limits both for morality and medicine generally and sideration in establishing those criteria. This conclusion does not A strategy to establish those regulatory parameters with deny the need for ongoing research on germline treatments.

With regard to the extent, it is common to distinguish be- tween enhancement interventions and transhuman interven- tions. In terms of the type of intervention it is possible to distinguish between somatic and germline interventions. Breivik, "Sport, gene doping and ethics" in C.

Somatic enhancement interventions: their application in and Sport, London-New York, Routledge, , p. Tamburrini and T. Indeed, objections based on the harm netic Technology and Sport, Routledge, London-New York, principle would be of an unjustified paternalistic nature. Thieme and Hemmebach, , Doping in Sports, because these kinds of modifications would not substantially Springer.

In order pp. H Azzazy, "Gene Doping" in D. Thieme and Hem- comply with other conditions such as: 1 continuity in the mebach, Doping in Sports, op.

References and Recommended Reading

Savulescu, B. Fodd and M. See also the and Medicin, 38, , p. Culbertson, Genetic Enhancement in the Dark, J. Germline treatments Second Edition. Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell From a arise another problem linked to a possible restriction to per- pessimistic view about the use of gene doping in sports: G. Habermas, The future of human na- Gaffney and R. Culbertson, "Genetic Enhancement in the DarkJ.

Schneider and J. Rupert, ""Constructing Winners: The in J. Savulescu and N.

Viewpoint - Genetically modified athletes | Sport | The Guardian

Oxford, Oxford UP, p. Douglas, "Enhancement in Sport and Enhancement outside Vid. Beyond therapy.

Reward Yourself

Holm and M. Savulescu, R. Tamburrini , pp. Morgan, Ethics in Sport, [23] M. Another interpretation of the na- [8] A. Rupert, Savulescu, letes", J. Schneider, and T. Tamburrini: "After Doping what? Morgan, Ethics in Sport, [10] C.

Rupert, "Constructing [26] C. Morgan, Ethics in Sport, Athletes", J. Tamburrini, "What's wrong with doping? Tam- [27] C. Morgan, Ethics in Sport, and FN,, p. The Morality of Genet- easy and provoke an slippery slope. Morgan, Ethics in Sport, points out that excessive risks should be avoid. Clayton, Why we should allow performance enhancing drugs in sport", in British J. The Morality of Genet- , 38, p.

Ethical Considerations of Genetic Manipulation in Sport

The Morality of Genet- and FN, , p. With its highest ever ed. On these figures, a gold medal costs about paigns, The Hasting Center, Garrison, , p. Australia came 4th in the medal tally in Athens despite having the 52nd largest population. Neither the Aus- [34] Juengst, E. Parens tralian multi- cultural genetic heritage nor the flat landscape ed. Foddy and M.

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

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