Gene Doping–The Next Big Thing?
Gene manipulation to enhance athletic performance is now scientifically possible, and it may become the next doping trend, CNN reports. Researchers point to “Marathon Mouse,” who gained the ability to run twice as far as normal mice with a modified protein gene.
While gene doping would give an athlete edge, it is potentially lethal. It has barely undergone testing in humans, and scientists don't know how to stop a gene mutation yet.
WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, banned gene doping in 2003. The agency administers drug testing for the International Olympic Committee. “It's not a stretch to imagine that there's an Olympic athlete–possibly at Vancouver–who has started this new, very risky form ofgene manipulation,” said WADA scientist Dr. Theodore Friedmann.
For more on WADA, check out our feature on drug testing.