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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Gene doping to be detected

29th November 2006

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told MPs it hopes to be able to detect gene-doping amongst athletes before the cheat technology becomes available.

Until recently illegal gene-abuse was thought to be impossible to detect but the IOC
has told the Commons science committee it believes its scientists will have developed a method of detection by the time gene-doping is generally accessible. 

In future athletes could use gene abuse technology to genetically modify their bodies in order to gain such physical advantages as greater endurance and bigger muscles.  It is feared they would be able to create a gene mutation through a single injection without leaving substance traces.  However, a spokesperson for the IOC said they were “aheadâ€? of those athletes wishing to use the technology to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.

MPs were also told of the potential threat to the health of athletes who wish to partake in the risky gene mutation technology.  However, Richard Budgett, chief medical officer of the British Olympic Committee, said there was already a problem with existing performance enhancing drugs.  Statistics show over 2% of sportsmen tested were found to have traces of illegal substances in their systems.  He added that some athletes justified drug use to themselves as a way of “levelling the playing fieldâ€? suggesting that for a number of athletes the temptation to take advantage of performance enhancing techniques far outweighs the risks involved.

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