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Gene Doping: Can Athletes Use This Option for Boosting Performance?

written by: •edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 6/19/2008

In olden days, chemical substances were used to enhance performance of athletes. When this was discovered, chemicals were developed to hide the performance enhancing drugs. Today genetic code has been broken, and it is possible to induct a synthetic gene which could enhance the competitive power.

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    Doping could be the use of drugs either to help mitigate the rigors of some disease, or to enhance performance. Historically speaking there are numerous instances of the use of using chemical dopes to enhance the performance of athletes and animals in man’s quest to climber higher, run faster and jump further than ever before.

    This practice was contained to some extent by use of laboratory techniques that could, by using blood and urine samples, tell whether or not doping substances were used or not. There were chemicals available then which could disguise the particular dope used. However, there were a number of performers in the Olympics especially, who had to give up their medals because substances were found in them which appeared to have boosted their performance.
    With the development of science related to genes, it became possible to identify substances within the genetic code that could be so manipulated by the scientists that genetic doping became possible. By administering a chemical or substance, to the participant, it enhanced the activity of that gene and the user could do better physically and mentally. In other words, gene doping helped the user to perform better in any game. The gene substance used is used and localized in that particular area. Further, since it was used not through the human bloodstream, it could not discovered by the usual chemical tests. Earlier it was easier to discover doping drugs through the development of the techniques of discovery. For example, chemicals which could mask the original steroid.