If the recent Lance Armstrong debacle proves anything at all, it shows us that there are athletes out there who will stop at nothing in order to WIN. They will lie, cheat, attack others (both in suit and publicly); you name it, all to protect the illusion of that “gold” medal…and all the trappings that come with it.
People like this (and there are more than what we might like to admit) don’t understand what real winning is all about. They don’t get that when one cheats the “rules,” or biologically/chemically changes who they are, their so-called winning amounts to nothing at all.
As I have said in the past…how anyone can take pride in traveling that path is beyond my comprehension. It makes no sense.
So what is the next evolution for people like this, athletes that will do anything to reach the top? A glimpse of that future is highlighted in a piece at Asiaone Sports (asiaone.com) titled, Genetic edge could help new breed of cheating athletes.
Giving us a possible window into our sporting future, the focus in that article centers on how science is moving toward gene doping.
What is gene doping in relation to competitive sports? Well:
“Gene doping is the non-therapeutic use of DNA to enhance performance, and according to experts, has the potential to create super athletes.”
Sounds like science fiction, right? Not according to Ame Ljungqvist (V.P. of the WADA) who states that "‘with the growing potential of genetic cures for muscle diseases and blood disorders comes the growing threat of misuse by the sports world.’"
Stating that WADA needs to stay proactive in its approach, Ljungqvist goes on to say “we do have evidence that there is an interest out there in certain circles.”
Do you think athletes like Armstrong, Floyd Landis, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Brian Cushing, Shawne Merriman, and the like, would really stoop to changing the actual genes they were born with to WIN??? Take a risk that could be very detrimental to their health...their life?
You bet your sweet a#% they would…no question about it.
To athletes like this (and I use the term athlete loosely here), what’s the difference? From their perspective, I would think, changing their biological chemical makeup or “doping” their genetic code amounts to pretty much the same thing. Sure seems like a small step for them based on past behavior. All it takes is the wrong attitude, something they’ve already acquired.
Now if your one of those who believes “what’s the big deal” or “who cares, it’s their choice,” then (aside from the impact all this has on our youth) I might direct you to the question posed at the end of the referenced piece:
"Will it transfer to the next generation and who will we compete against in the future - human or artificial creature?…We still have much to learn about how things can go wrong."
Do we really want sports to become competition between individuals who are simply mere representations of their former selves…totally enhanced anomalies that create more of a video game type sports experience rather than the real thing?
Do we really want to remove the human aspect from competitive sports…for it to be all about who has the best chemist in their camp?
And, lastly, do we really want our youth looking for a path toward athletic greatness to have only a chemically and genetically enhanced option to reach the pinnacle of sport?
Me…I emphatically respond with NO!!!
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