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(Reuters)   IOC bans genetically-engineered sportsmen   ( reuters.com) divider line
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1762 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Oct 2002 at 3:54 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

26 Comments     (+0 »)
2002-10-05 05:17:39 PM  
There goes my carreer. :(
2002-10-05 05:40:13 PM  
REAL athletes only.
Not the ones being used as a wayward science experiment.
2002-10-05 05:43:59 PM  
I think genetics will show just how stupid physical sports are anyway. Sure, its fun to throw or kick a ball around, but in a hundred years it'll be routine for people to leap 50 feet in the air and run 100mph. Then playing e.g. basketball will be like racing in NASCAR now. People's bodies will be seen as things to improve.

If I pump steroids into my body I'll be banned from every sport imaginable. And if I genetically engineer my child's body to "naturally" produce more steroids he'll be banned from every sport. But what about those people who "just happen" to produce more steroids in their bodies than others, without injection or genetic modification? Currently, we have no problem with it, some people are disposed to be beefier than others, and tend to be better at sports because of it.

So it seems OK to reward imbalances in genetic disposition when its "accidental" and "unintended", but if an imbalance is purposely given, then it's not OK.

But what about a very athletic woman choosing a very athletic man to be the sperm donor for her child? Would the IOC complain about that? In essense, it's genetic engineering. If you disagree, just look at the freakish dogs humans have been able to engineer by selective breeding. So now it seems that to be consistent, the IOC must say that using athletic disposition in choosing one's mate disqualifies any potential child of such a mating from future sports competitions.

But the IOC would never say anything like that. But wait, they just have, so their position is a contradiction, and the total notion of sports competitions as ever being fair is hogwash.
2002-10-05 05:51:00 PM  
What does Jimmy The Greek have to say about this?
2002-10-06 12:36:19 AM  
Dammit. Picturescrazy got to my joke first.
2002-10-06 03:59:15 AM  
so why not ban anyone thats ever had any surgery done like on their knees or something, its close to the same thing.

next we're going to be banning genetically engineered people from attending certain colleges, or from winning nobel prizes

hey this opens up a nice market for second class citizens, where can i get mine?
2002-10-06 04:00:12 AM  
also, when they gonna get around to banning biased judges?
2002-10-06 04:00:53 AM  
Next they'll be banning genetically engineered doctors from serving in Starfleet.

But first they have to rise up against us, and we have to exile them to deep space, where they can cause trouble in 300 years.
2002-10-06 04:01:44 AM  
lets just be sure to not teach them that in space you can move your ship in all 3 dimentions
2002-10-06 04:09:04 AM  
Ian Thorpe is the fastest swimmer in the world. He is the world's fastest swimmer because he has size 18 feet, not because of extensive training (though the extensive training has helped).

Lance Armstrong is the best cyclist because his lungs are something like 30% more efficient at processing oxygen than average people. Cycling is all about breathing. He has good genes for it. He has good genes, period. The man defeated cancer, for crying out loud!!! He is a metabolic superman!

Genetically modifying an athlete is banned. But what if, by some freak of nature, a child born in Chernobyl has webbed feet? Technically, those feet are every bit as legal as Ian Thorpe's gargantuan flippers, but how is it any different than genetically modifying a super swimmer?

Oh, so if it it happened naturally or by accident it's alright, but if it was a deliberate improvement it's bad? Gee, they better ban training itself, since training makes you a better athlete. And eating healthy and correct foods, because they make you a better athlete too. Oh, and space-age equipment. Let's get rid of that. The clap skate ruined speedskating and should be banned, since it's a deliberate and direct improvement!!!

The IOC--and sports in general--is trying to keep this all down, but we know it is like preventing a dam from breaking. Eventually the floodwaters are going to come. Like drugs, soon everyone is going to do them/get them/make them just to gain the slightest bit advantage.

Personally, I think it's too late to ban certain techniques for enhanced performance--where it be chemical or genetic or natural (the Soviets would often force couples who excel at particular sports to marry and have children, in order to produce better next generation athletes...that's hardly natural)...I say just go carte blanche: legalize everything. All drugs, all genetics, all means of being the best. At this stage, in order to be the best most athletes turn into freaks anyway, so it's their lives they're ruining.

I want to see 150 mph fastballs thrown from cybernetic arms, 80 yard field goals, 20 foot hoops, 6 second 100 metre times. I want to see webbed size 27 feet, 45 inch arms, laser eyesight. That would be totally awesome.
2002-10-06 04:12:05 AM  
And so begins the second-class treatment of cloned and genetically engineered individuals.

So tell me... at what point does the IOC consider someone "genetically engineered"?

Right now, at this very moment, if I'm not mistaken we have genetic technology to correct some kinds of genetic defects when an embryo is very early in it's development. Certainly in the future we will be able to dtect hundreds of genetic abnormalities and correct them. Like people with missing limbs, or male pattern baldness, and any number of other things people agree are bad.

Will these people be denied the right to compete? Probably not.

But what about a child who is predisposed to have poor vision and will definitely require glasses later in life? If their genes are corrected their vision will probably be 20/20 or better, and that would give them an advantage in most sports.
2002-10-06 04:55:41 AM  
as long as they don't ban genetically engineered boobies - who cares? (ok, so maybe the germans do)
2002-10-06 05:07:14 AM  
How can we advance as a race with stupidity like this? If people can make themselves stronger and smarter, then by all means, they should. Enough with these "playing god" complaints.
2002-10-06 05:48:55 AM  
Oh, so if it it happened naturally or by accident it's alright, but if it was a deliberate improvement it's bad?

Yeah, that's pretty much it. It sounds silly when you whittle it down to bare bones, doesn't it? That our top athletes must be genetic "accidents" to be legit.

But to put it another way might make the IOC's position seem a little less silly.

Imagine, say, Ian Thorpe had prosthetic surgery to have a small hydrojet motor installed in his ass that would propel him faster through the water.

Obviously, that would be rather unfair and not very sporting, as it would be a deliberate artificial adaptation of his body. I think it's fair to say there would be few arguments about this.

Now, due to recent advances in genetic technology, the sportingworld is faced with needing to draw a line between what is "natural" and what is "artificial."

Having cyborganis legs fitted that allow you to run faster would probably be considered foul play. Having gene therapy to strengthen the muscles in your legs would have the same effect, but should it be considered artificial.

It used to be easy to draw a line between artificial enhancement and natural ability, but that division has become a little more indistict lately. We need to rework our definitions, and that's a little messy. I don't think the IOC are being backwards at al, just careful. To allow one sort of enhancement could prove to be the thin end of the wedge.

But maybe that's what sport is destined to be in the future. Sport has always been about humans competing to see who is the best physically adapted, and genetic modification could just be an extention of that.
2002-10-06 06:41:35 AM  
Veritas:."Imagine, say, Ian Thorpe had prosthetic surgery to have a small hydrojet motor installed in his ass"

No I will not imagine that, sounds like something a fag would imagine.
2002-10-06 07:15:19 AM  
Ah- *ahem* yeah, sorry.
2002-10-06 07:26:51 AM  
You gotta admit, though, that would be pretty cool to see...Ian Thorpe peddling around the pool with a little fanny motor? hehehe....it would emit a funny dribbling sound too, like when you're peeing.
2002-10-06 07:29:42 AM  
"WADA chief Dick Pound said:" Dick Pound... Dick Pound... What was his mother thinking?
2002-10-06 08:33:06 AM  
"10-05-02 05:43:59 PM FarmerBob

but in a hundred years it'll be routine for people to leap 50 feet in the air and run 100mph."

What kind of weed you growing on your farm dude because you are higher than a kite.
2002-10-06 08:33:57 AM  
genetically engineered sportsmen? i smell a photoshop theme on it's way
2002-10-06 08:36:19 AM  
CommieSheep, I think you have stumbled upon a sensational idea.
2002-10-06 09:03:51 AM  
Pre-emptive strike eh? Very Bush like. Doesn't the IOC realize that the civilized thing to do is to wait until sports are attacked by genetic Supermen before any actions are taken?
2002-10-06 09:40:33 AM  
WADA WADA WADA WADA.... I feel wrong that they exist....

Well, as long as they don't ban my army of geneticly enhanced supersoldiers, I'll be ok with it. In fact, let them try to ban my army of geneticly enhanced supersoldiers.

Just imagine the "I am an army of one" Commercials they have when the main actor is 12 feet tall and encased in a thick unnatural lobsterlike shell, with 4 arms, two of those arms ending in giant skullcrushing claws....

There is far worse possiblilities out there other than JUST tweaking the knees of a runner...
2002-10-06 10:43:41 AM  
Great idea guys. Good luck proving it.
2002-10-06 10:55:04 AM  
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), dammit, and I thought that dope was gonna be legal someday......
2002-10-06 01:17:42 PM  
Good point flakeloaf. Unlike drug use, genetically engineering for certain advantages would be completely undetectable.

"hmm...this guy seems to have lance armstrong's lungs and ian thorps feet."

"yeah, well, my mom got around a lot"
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