WADA's Play True - Gene Doping

The first 2005 issue of WADA's magazine 'Play True' is all about Gene Doping. WADA President Richard Pound leads the publication, identifying that 'gene therapy represents an exciting and promising step forward in medical research, but its use to enhnace athletic ability is as wrong as any type of traditional doping'. It is not the first time that the magazine has discussed gene doping, but the profile in this issue is significant. WADA have set-up a gene doping panel, which includes H. Lee Sweeney, Olivier Rabin (WADA Science Director) and Theodore Freidmann, among others.

Pound emphasises the need for regulatory frameworks in gene transfer technology and Thomas H. Murray (The Hastings Center and WADA Ethics and Education) provides an ethical analysis of the issue.

On Detection: The issue includes a couple of main points about detection. It first identifies that many athletes have a 'false sense of security about wheher gene doping can be detected'. It goes on to state that 'It might be difficult to see that a particular gene has been added to the body, but there will be consequences to that addition that can be seen and measured'. They conclude 'Bottom line? Detection is possible and probable', but there are no tests yet.