Gene Doping. Read it again. Gene Doping. This will most likely be the biggest problem in the world of professional sports, and we unfortunately won't have to wait long. Doping experts say that we might see the first cases of this “sci-fi" method of doping during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It will be the most talked about issue during the 2012 London Olympics.
Doctor Hemmersbach, anti-doping lab at Aker University Clinic in Oslo says “We don't think anybody is currently using gene doping, but we estimate that it's about five years in the future. It's an extremely complex field, and using gene technology as doping requires incredible expertise". Hemmersback is part of the IOC's Medical Commission Games Group, tasked with EPO and gene doping. We will most likely see it used in race horses and race dogs initially, but chances are good for it to transfer onto the arena of professional sports.
Currently, it is almost impossible to detect any manipulation of genes, but the good news for anti-doping agencies is that researchers are very likely to find ways detect it. Gene doping is dangerous for the user, since it involves injecting viruses into the body. This can lead to various diseases, such as cancer. Unfortunately, history has shown that some athletes are willing to take such risks. Just look at the problems that EPO caused when we knew less about it. Thickening of the blood and rapid drop in blood pressure would be countered by the cheating athlete by setting the alarm at night in order to get up and move around. This would increase blood pressure and blood flow, most of the time. . .
I am a full-time endurance athlete, working towards the 2012 London Olympics. I maintain a blog, describing my ups and downs of training / racing. http://roadrace1.blogspot.com