Uncovering genetic testing in athletics: limits, concerns, and possibilities
Your weekly research review
- Background & Objective
- What They Did
- What They Found
- Practical Takeaways
- Reviewer’s Comments
- About the Reviewer
Background & Objective
The genetic make-up of an individual influences the physical and psychological traits that can be associated with elite athletic performance. Advances in genetic testing have opened the door for identification of polymorphisms and other genetic variations that are linked to elite athlete status.
This manuscript outlines the challenges related to genetics and athletic performance, providing concerns, as well as future directions in the field of genetic research and its implementation.
What They Did
Within this review article a number of key points were discussed, this included:
What They Found
Primary findings reviewed:
“The research of gene expression is a growing and alluring area, and it makes sense it would move into the competitive culture of elite sport. Countries like China and Uzbekistan are currently implementing genetic testing to provide a potential edge over others in their quest for Olympic success. The ethical concerns, as well as quality control of this growing field, looms for talent identification, gene doping, and fairness. There is proven value of this type of testing in clinical medicine but there is no scientific support for genetic testing and athletic identification (see HERE).
Lastly, as the saying goes “genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger”, meaning there are numerous factors related to lifestyle, coaching, and development that allow athletic potential to be expressed. Hopefully this field focuses attention on improving and not excluding athletes based on the findings. There is a lot of productive potential in uncovering the information regarding the optimal environment, coaching, and intervention related to an elite athlete’s genetic makeup.”
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The full study can be read here.
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