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Alteration Here and There to Win

Gene doping could be the next way to cheat in sports, Futurism writes.

Approaches like gene editing could be used to, for instance, give athletes extra copies of the gene that encodes erythropoietin so that they have the ability to produce higher amounts of EPO. Detecting extra EPO made by the athlete's body rather than external, injected EPO is bit harder to do, Futurism says, but it adds that the World Anti-Doping Authority is giving it a go.

CNN notes that WADA banned gene doping in 2003 and this past fall expanded its definition of gene doping to include gene editing to enhance performance. Olivier Rabin, senior executive director of sciences and international partnerships at WADA, tells CNN that the agency can detect extra gene copies added via vector-based gene therapy. And while he says gene editing is more complicated, he adds the agency is working on ways to detect that as well. Wired reported in February that WADA was considering requiring Olympians to submit copies of their genomes.

"For some athletes, the potential downsides of gene doping may seem worthwhile if it could help them achieve glory," Futurism writes. "And for now, we don't have an effective plan to stop them."