Genetic drive to be stronger, fast 'doping' may lure future athletes


Genetic drive to be stronger, fast 'doping' may lure future athletes(2002, Feb 10) The Baltimore Sun, by M. Stroh

Eero Mantyranta, the gene-freak athlete from the 1960s provides the context to this article. It is believed that his rare genetic mutation allowed him to gain an advantage over other athletes. Of course,even if Mantyranta was particularly 'gifted', it would be misleading to suggest that he was unique or that there is no genetic variation between other athletes.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is described as a candidate for boosting endurance capacity, as is the hormone EPO. Gene therapy is also identified as the legitimate application of this research, which, typically, is not considered questionable. However, to suggest that therapeutic applications of gene transfer technology are ethically uncontroversial is misleading. At least, it begs the question about how we distinguish between therapy and enhancement.