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Scientists race to stay ahead of the drug-taking and genetic manipulation that threatens sport
Date:7/29/2008

The race to ensure that scientists stop drug-taking athletes from damaging sport by using performance enhancing drugs or undergoing genetic manipulation is a constant challenge, according to a major four-decade review by three of the World's leading experts on doping in sport.

Writing in the August issue of the European-based Journal of Internal Medicine, they say that significant advances have been made in the fight against drugs in sport over the last 40 years. However, the authorities face a constant battle to keep up with both the athletes who use drugs and their rogue scientific advisors.

"A cardinal feature of doping is that some athletes will experiment with any new substance that might improve their performance" says Professor Don Catlin, Founder and former Director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory at the University of California, USA, and CEO of the Anti-Doping Research Institute.

"They do not wait for regulatory approvals. If they can obtain a supply they will try it. This means that scientists need to anticipate and develop tests even before the drug has been misused by athletes.

"Considerable concerns have also been expressed about gene doping, a prohibited spin off of gene manipulation, a medical advance that has been developed to alter a person's DNA to fight diseases like muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis."

The paper is co-written with two other leading experts Professor Arne Ljungqvist, Vice President of WADA and Professor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and Professor Ken Fitch from the University of Western Australia, who was a sports medicine consultant for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Published to coincide with the Beijing Olympics, from 8 to 24 August, the review provides a highly authoritative view of sports doping over the last 40 years and looks at the challenges scientists may face in the future.

Even tougher dopi
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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