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WADA reports breakthrough in gene doping tests

Mar 16, 2009
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WADA reports breakthrough in gene doping tests

By STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson, Ap Sports Writer – Fri Sep 3, 3:50 pm ET

LONDON – Two groups of scientists have developed tests for gene doping in what the World Anti-Doping Agency hailed Friday as a major breakthrough in fighting the next frontier in cheating in sports.

Scientists in Germany said they have come up with a blood test that can provide "conclusive proof" of gene doping, even going back as far as 56 days from when the doping took place.
 
Thanks, that's very interesting - especially this bit:

While experts say they don't believe gene doping is being abused yet by athletes, they suspect it's only a matter of time.
Howman said WADA has information that some hospitals around the world are offering genetic transfers to patients.
"I think we've had sufficient anecdotal information to say it's happening, but whether it's happening across the world of sport is another issue," he said.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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I watched a video of a doc in China prior to Beijing 2008 (hidden camera) talking about gene doping with a "customer". Or at least that's what the subtitles said. Fooling around with mitochondria.
 
The test depends on knowing the gene that the athlete is being doped with, or the vector used to transfer the gene into the body. So it's certainly possible to beat it. It will be extremely difficult to come up with a generic gene doping test, that can detect doping using any gene and any vector. So the passport, suitably expanded, will stillbe very helpful.

The other study, of EPO gene doping, I don't find that significant, because the passport system already makes doping with EPO problematic.

Finally, both of these tests could be beaten by a knowledgeable scientist who synthesized genes more similar to those in the body. Both of these tests depend on significant differences. An athlete with enough money should be able to get around them.
 
Jun 15, 2010
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Potemtial

What is the actual potential of gene therapy? Could you take anyone in the peloton and give them the physiology of a tour winner?
 
Aug 4, 2009
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As soon as they find a new test someone else finds a new method so it goes around.
who is paying for all this research it must cost $millions.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Stem cell research is spearheaded in the US. Most US universities are funded by corporations and taxpayers. The general public always fund expensive research via their taxes, if the research is successful the benefits are then privatised.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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cromagnon said:
Stem cell research is spearheaded in the US. Most US universities are funded by corporations and taxpayers. The general public always fund expensive research via their taxes, if the research is successful the benefits are then privatised.

yes american medicine is an epic greed/capitalism driven failure so sad.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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forty four said:
yes american medicine is an epic greed/capitalism driven failure so sad.

Is that sarcasm? I hope not. Either way, although medicine is part of it, weapons and the technology we're using to post here is part of it. High tech research has been publicly funded for decades ask anyone at MIT.

As soon as the net took off, in comes someone like Cisco and it;s privatised. The thery is, you gotta tkae it out of the public domain as quick as possible. Cos if it's public then regular people can influence it (in theory) via voting and that might benefit people and (therefore) be fractionally less profitable. Clearly that's unacceptable :D
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Sorry to have to bring Armstrong into this, but about a year ago, I brought up the theory or the possibility that when Armstrong got his cancer and was near death and therefore in a nothing to lose scenario that due to his connections he was possibly offered something like gene therapy to overcome his cancer and live. As a biproduct also use it to transform himself into a 7 time TdF champion. I know it is a long shot, but hey they did it to rats and made them 1/3 stronger, etc (but with some negative effects. Can't notice them in Armstrong as overshadowed by his natural personality). I always struggled to see how doping alone could have transformed him in such a way. But a combination of Gene therapy with doping it is possible.

I was shot down in flames as a wild conspirator with a wild imagination. It is possible that Armstrong became this test dummy for them. Or perhaps this treatment has been going on for years but only for the privileged few. The pharmacutecal companies will never allow a cure for cancer (which has already been discovered) come out as there is too much money in it for them. It is similar to oil companies never allowing the hydro engine to come out on a mass scale, when we all know they're out there and working well.

I suspect this type of doping is already being used by a few privileged in the peleton and I suspect Armstrong was the pioneer as far back as 1999. How this fits in to Landis' accusations, well who says you can't also dope at the same time for an even bigger effect.
 
I doubt very much that LA had gene therapy,because it was even riskier and less understood then that it is now. Several people have died from it. Originally it was used only to treat very rare disorders for which there was no other hope.

However, it is now being used with some success to treat a variety of conditions, e.g., using a growth factor gene to stimulate blood vessel growth to the heart as a treatment for blocked arteries. That would obviously benefit an athlete. It's also being used to treat kidney disease, hemophilia, Parkinson's, and others.

In answer to another question, eventually, yes, gene therapy will be able to turn donkeys into race horses. The main limitation, ultimately, I think, will be body structure. With the right genes, you can rev up your metabolism to unheard of levels, but you're still stuck with the body you were born with, in terms of general frame, bone structure, etc. Someone with the "wrong" body type to be a racing cyclist might, with the right genes, be better than any natural cyclist, but could be bettered by someone with the more appropirate body and the same gene doping program.

This limitation could be changed by gene therapy during early development,or even prior to conception, but that is even more controversial than current gene therapy, because it would effect not just one individual, but all his/her descendants. But it's coming, and if the tests for it get good enough, I think we'll reach a very interesting situation, when people who aren't athletes, and therefore not banned from gene therapy, may be in a better position to reap the benefits than athletes. At which time, there will be enormous pressure to let the athletes do it.

In the long run, I don't think doping can be stopped, any more than you can stop people altering their bodies and minds in other ways, the traditional methods being drugs.
 
Indurain said:
Sorry to have to bring Armstrong into this, but about a year ago, I brought up the theory or the possibility that when Armstrong got his cancer and was near death and therefore in a nothing to lose scenario that due to his connections he was possibly offered something like gene therapy to overcome his cancer and live. As a biproduct also use it to transform himself into a 7 time TdF champion. I know it is a long shot, but hey they did it to rats and made them 1/3 stronger, etc (but with some negative effects. Can't notice them in Armstrong as overshadowed by his natural personality). I always struggled to see how doping alone could have transformed him in such a way. But a combination of Gene therapy with doping it is possible.

I was shot down in flames as a wild conspirator with a wild imagination. It is possible that Armstrong became this test dummy for them. Or perhaps this treatment has been going on for years but only for the privileged few. The pharmacutecal companies will never allow a cure for cancer (which has already been discovered) come out as there is too much money in it for them. It is similar to oil companies never allowing the hydro engine to come out on a mass scale, when we all know they're out there and working well.

I suspect this type of doping is already being used by a few privileged in the peleton and I suspect Armstrong was the pioneer as far back as 1999. How this fits in to Landis' accusations, well who says you can't also dope at the same time for an even bigger effect.

If secret gene doping made Armstong into a 7 time tour champion he wouldnt need EPO, Dr Ferrari and his expensive doping programme, all of which we know he took throughout his tour reign.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Merckx index said:
The test depends on knowing the gene that the athlete is being doped with, or the vector used to transfer the gene into the body. So it's certainly possible to beat it. It will be extremely difficult to come up with a generic gene doping test, that can detect doping using any gene and any vector. So the passport, suitably expanded, will stillbe very helpful.

The other study, of EPO gene doping, I don't find that significant, because the passport system already makes doping with EPO problematic.

Finally, both of these tests could be beaten by a knowledgeable scientist who synthesized genes more similar to those in the body. Both of these tests depend on significant differences. An athlete with enough money should be able to get around them.
There's always the vector or even the absence of introns (if they're using cDNA). Anyway the thing about gene doping is that it is very easy to develop a new test if you get some kind of inkling that something is being used and also there is a lot of high throughput technology around which means you could very easily screen for an range of different targets. I think gene doping will be a bit harder to get away with than people think if the regulators are on the ball.
 
The Hitch said:
If secret gene doping made Armstong into a 7 time tour champion he wouldnt need EPO, Dr Ferrari and his expensive doping programme, all of which we know he took throughout his tour reign.

I guess there's no need to waste time refuting the cure for cancer and hydro engine bits then... By the way; wasn't there something odd about the moon landing as well? Ooh, no more time - Got a sasquatch outside the window I need to take a picture of!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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JPM London said:
I guess there's no need to waste time refuting the cure for cancer and hydro engine bits then... By the way; wasn't there something odd about the moon landing as well? Ooh, no more time - Got a sasquatch outside the window I need to take a picture of!

That's alright, at least I walk through life with my eyes wide open to the possibilities out there. While not all conspiracies are true, some are. My conspiracy theory re: the upcoming economic problems we are facing way back in 2006 - 2007 really helped me prepare and invest accordingly. People disregarded my conspiracy theory because the main media was saying something different and are suffering now. Another conspiracy theory for you. It's going to get a whole lot worse. Make the depression look like a walk in the park.

We only get to hear about the old stuff re: technology, medical developments. Stuff like gene therapy, creation of advanced technology like ufo's, etc is alive and well. Why do you think many tech based companies (computers, tv's, etc) all seem to come out with the same technology at the same time? Because it is systematically released to them at the same time.

But hey you keep sleep walking, closing your mind off to anything that doesn't go along with society norms. That's what sheep do. One day you'll say to yourself, gee I wish I had of seen that one coming. Get away from the mainstream media and look elsewhere. Your the laughing stock.

I'm not saying Armstrong used Gene therapy, but I wouldn't outweigh it as many others are on dope and I can't see how a more specialised program with his doctor would make such a huge difference in comparison to the others. There's something more to it. Otherwise, we would have seen glimpses of his ability to timetrial/climb beforehand. He had the connections and a motive (to live or die). Who knows what people will try in desperation.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Indurain said:
I'm not saying Armstrong used Gene therapy, but I wouldn't outweigh it as many others are on dope and I can't see how a more specialised program with his doctor would make such a huge difference in comparison to the others. There's something more to it. Otherwise, we would have seen glimpses of his ability to timetrial/climb beforehand. He had the connections and a motive (to live or die). Who knows what people will try in desperation.
I think you are getting carried away. Given the time frame and considering the tecnology available when LA was doing his thing then gene therapy is out of the question. I don't want to get in a big debate about this but based on my knowledge I think it is unlikely. Even now to try it would be pretty risky which is why it tends to get used in terminal conditions.