• H.E. Pennypacker

    I’m still not entirely clear on what gene doping is, exactly. Nor how it works. Time to start googling.

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    • Nomad

      The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a paper on this subject a few years back. It details all the current gene doping properties & targets, including the EPO stimulating “Repoxygen.” A fascinating read to say the least:
      “Gene Doping: An overview and current implications for athletes.” (van der Gronde et al/Br J. Sports Med/2013):


      Also, CT had a interesting article on this last year:


      It appears that the way things are evolving, elite athletes of the future may be nothing more than genetically modified organisms…

  • Andy B

    Im intrigued to see how many people this may catch and how prevalent it is
    it would seem you have to make a very serious decision early on that you need to cheat to win
    I wonder how the first few cases will go
    I can imagine there would be a lot of grey areas around what is/isn’t normal

    • ebbe

      I’m also intrigued to see how many athletes will pull out of the Olympics ;-)

      • Dave

        With the number of anti-doping labs that have been decertified by WADA in the last couple of months now up to five, it might still be worth a gamble.

  • Dave

    There’s a guy at the IOC called Rich Budgett? Too good to be true!

  • Kenneth Sanders

    Let’s just give away the information so more athletes can find a work-a-round! Smart move…

  • campirecord

    I mean I hate to say it but absolutely zero, nil scratch gene therapy is in use clinically. WADA should really spend time somewhere else. Right now there are hundreds of Russian dopers and nothing has been done… nada. So we can talk about Star Trek stories or get our shit together… Ask yourself if anyone out there (death sentence cancer patients) has used gene therapy to only help their pains… answer: no one, cause all the articles make it sounds stupidly simple which it is not.

    • Nomad

      Not an absolute certainty that gene doping won’t be experimented with at Rio. The paper I cited (van der Gronde et al) was published in 2013, and the authors did indicate there was no clear proof of gene doping at that time…but said it’s a “realistic” possibility for Rio.

      I agree with you on Russia but nothing is being done with Kenya either:

      A reported *40* doping postives since 2011 and allegations of bribery & corruption. (“Athletics doping: Kenya misses WADA deadline.” Dan Roan/BBC Sports/021116):


      Kenya isn’t even part of the ABP program because of no WADA-accredited labs in the region to conduct the blood tests.

      So, from the last update I heard from…it looks like both Russia & Kenya will set sail for Rio.

      • campirecord

        To me this is just pure science hype. We found a cure to cancer hype kind of stuff. No you did not and no you will not. You will find therapies maybe but thats it. And if there was any minimal chance you could use gene modelling, other than crispr technology for any health benefit, you would bet your legs that it would be in trial somewhere, there is a lot of doping but all doping products come from a clinical application. The paper cited is just an overview, it implies absolutely no experimental data. The article goes all over the place, from retro viral gene therapy to pcr bar coding detection. Great thinking but again, major hype. Who here is seeing simian viral gene therapy in the world… No doping lab in the world can go there… Dope is a bunch of dirty chemists doing some generic copy cat stuff… not Einstein at work… Chemical is not molecular and DNA is not very practical to work with, we are still looking into therapy for the most simple Mendelian diseases…

        • Nomad

          Dr. Budgett doesn’t seem to imply that it’s “just pure science hype” on the possibility of gene doping. Furthermore, he seems enthusiastic and confident about the new test. Perhaps though, with your science background…you could enlighten him on where he’s going wrong with his thinking. Afterall, he’s the IOC medical director and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind hearing from his critics.

          • campirecord

            Right and IOC positions are sooo legit… Let me have the same review from a WADA biochemist or molecular biologist. Again, what gene therapy today is used to save lives (forget even about winning the Tour), I’m talking about a multi billion dollar investor or pharma creating a gene transfer cure. Can you name one ? Also, IOC has no credibility right now, instead of talking about gene doping and star wars, why don’t they actually put their pants on and strike on Russians once and for all. Cause you know, meldonium is soooo advanced… This is simply a litterature review and a bunch of possibilities put together. Start by making tests that are robust for 25 year old molecules, then we can talk about the next step.

      • campirecord

        Nomad, when I worked for the company that decalred to be the first to sequence the human genome. People talked about walking on the moon. Francis Collins took to the white house lawn and to newsrooms around the world, imagining a world “where in ten years you would walk into a room, plug your cell phone and DNA data and receive perfectly directed therapy for cancer and other diseases” Today, we laugh at that. Not only has zero Mendelian diseases have been cured but there is still very very little personal medicine being done. MS is still prevalant, people still have Factor 8 hemophilia is still exectly where it was, most pediatric leucemia is treated by bone marrow transplant, we have really not even given pancreatic cancer an extra year in cure… The goal of this is not to explain how little results we have created. The goal of this is to explain how incredibly difficult it is to do any kind of gene transfer, in fact it is for lack of better words, inexistant and close to impossible. It certainly is possible to target certain mutated pathways with chemistry but that is not gene doping in the classical style. History has shown that doping stems from combinatoric chemists putting stuff together for mouse, human and horses, most often this transfers to cheaters and is very old technology. Even when CERA came out… the newest best EPO was simply a molecular chiral brother, and that was introduce only because the original EPO patents were running out and this created an extension… It’s very old school out there… people pumping blood bags in a motel 9 or KGB agents breaking seals is not gene therapy.


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