Gene Doping Ravi P. Agrahari (Science & Technology)
• Gene doping is a form of gene modification similar to gene therapy, but rather than altering genes to treat or prevent an illness, they are changed to make normal genes perform differently. Altering genes to enhance athletic performance is the most viable reason for gene doping.• There are two ways in which gene doping could be used to enhance athletic performance.1. Doctors could change genes the athlete already possessed in order to make them more competitive or2. genes could be added to change an athletes physical makeup.
• Gene doping represents a threat to the integrity of sport and the health of athletes, and as the international organization responsible for promoting, coordinating and monitoring the global fight against doping in sport in all its forms, WADA is devoting significant resources and attention to ways that will enable the detection of gene doping.• In March 2002, a workshop on gene doping was organized by WADA at the Banbury Center in New York. Experts, scientists, ethicists, athletes, and representatives from the Olympic Movement and governments examined the issue. In 2004, WADA also created an Expert Group on gene doping. The Expert Group’s task is to study the latest advances in the field of gene therapy, the methods for detecting doping and the research projects funded by WADA in this area.
- In December 2005, WADA, in collaboration with the KarolinskaInstitute and the Swedish Sports Confederation, held a secondworkshop meeting in Stockholm on the subject.- In June 2008, the Agency organized, in cooperation with theRussian sport authorities, a third expert meeting on geneticenhancement of athletic performance in Saint Petersburg. Afeature on the 2008 WADA Gene Doping Symposium held inSaint Petersburg is available in WADAs Play True Magazinesthird issue of 2008, posted in the Download Center to the right.- Play True Magazines first issue of 2005 was dedicated to thetopic of gene doping. Visit the Download Center to access thispublication, as well as an interview, published in 2007, with ProfTheodore Friedmann, Chair of WADAs Gene Doping ExpertGroup.
Gene Doping- Gene therapy for restoring muscle lost to age or disease is poised to enterthe clinic, but athletes are eyeing it to enhance performance. The non-therapeutic use of cells, genes, genetic elements, or of the modulation ofgene expression, having the capacity to improve athletic performance isdefined as Gene Doping by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).- A complex ethical and philosophical issue is what defines genedoping, especially in the context of bioethical debates about humanenhancement. Gene doping could involve the recreational use of genetherapies intended to treat muscle-wasting disorders. Many of thesechemicals may be indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. In suchcases, nothing unusual would enter the bloodstream so officials woulddetect nothing in a blood or urine test. For example, gene doping could beused to provide athletes a source of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone thatpromotes the formation of red blood cells that is already widely abused insports. Another candidate gene is Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) whichpartly controls the building and repair of muscles by stimulating theproliferation of satellite cells.
The historical development of policy associated with genedoping began in 2001 when the International OlympicCommittee (IOC) Medical Commission met to discuss theimplications of gene therapy for sport. It was shortly followedby the WADA, which met in 2002 to discuss geneticenhancement. In 2003, WADA decided to include aprohibition of gene doping within their World Anti-DopingCode, which is formalized in its 2004 World Anti-Doping Code.In 2004, the Netherlands Centre for Doping Affairs (NeCeDo)and the WADA have organized a “Gene Doping” workshop. Inaddition, NeCeDo has published a report on gene doping asan inventory of the possible applications and risks of geneticmanipulation in sports. Although there have been nodocumented cases of gene doping, the science of genetherapy and interest in the techniques by the sportscommunity has risen to a level that makes gene dopinginevitable.
˃ The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has alreadyasked scientists to help find ways to prevent gene therapyfrom becoming the newest means of doping.˃ In December 2005, the World Anti-Doping Agencyhosted its second landmark meeting on gene doping, whichtook place in Stockholm. At this meeting, the delegatesdrafted a declaration on gene doping which, for the firsttime, included a strong discouragement of the use ofgenetic testing for performance.˃ Recently, German scientists from Tübingen and Mainzhave developed a blood test that can reliably detect genedoping even after 56 days: "For the first time, a directmethod is now available that uses conventional bloodsamples to detect doping via gene transfer". See newsitem: Gene Doping Detectable With a Simple Blood Test.
Analogous to gene doping, non-therapeuticapplications of gene therapy can be envisaged inanimals for the purpose of growth stimulation andimproved meat production (see also Belgian BlueBull), for example by growth hormone, myostatinand anabolic hormones. Gene doping to improvesport performance is not limited to humans, but hasalso interest in for example the sport of horseracing.
• The globe Anti-Doping Agency defines this as the non salutary use of genes, genetic elements. The cells have the capability to boost athletic performance.• The globe Anti-Doping Agency defines this as the non salutary use of genes, genetic elements. The cells have the capability to boost athletic performance.
With the dawn of gene therapy, a shortest way todeliver proteins and hormones to an athlete’stissues and organs turn into reality. A substance canchange the basic genetic expression of DNA such asthat muscle grow larger, recover more quickly andcontract extra forcefully.The non-doped muscles cannot be noticed by anti-doping laboratories would be perfect to gain acompetition advantage. Gene’s doping has twotypes.
• Ex vivo doping: The method of exogenous gene doping includes gene transfer to cells in culture first, then placement of the tissue into the recipient. Once implanted into the athlete’s cell, the new genes utter biochemicals or hormones that increase performance of the person during competitions.• In vivo gene doping: The liberation of the new gene into an athlete can be through physical, biologic or chemical methods. Viruses can be customized biologically insert the artificial gene into cells in an exact organ or target tissue or into cells throughout the competitor’s body.