Will Genetics Destroy Sports? Download PDF
A new age of biotechnology promises bigger, faster, better bodies—and blood, urine, and saliva tests can’t stop the cheating.”
The chime on H. Lee Sweeney’s laptop dings again—another e-mail. He doesn’t rush to open it. He knows what it’s about. He knows what they are all about. The molecular geneticist gets dozens every week, all begging for the same thing—a miracle. Ding. A woman with carpal tunnel syndrome wants a cure. Ding. A man offers $100,000, his house, and all his possessions to save his wife from dying of a degenerative muscle disease. Ding, ding, ding. Jocks, lots of jocks, plead for quick cures for strained muscles or torn tendons. Weight lifters press for larger deltoids. Sprinters seek a split second against the clock. People volunteer to be guinea pigs.
Sweeney has the same reply for each ding: “I tell them it’s illegal and maybe not safe, but they write back and say they don’t care. A high school coach contacted me and wanted to know if we could make enough serum to inject his whole football team. He wanted them to be bigger and stronger and come back from injuries faster, and he thought those were good things.” Continue reading