gene doping
n. Modifying a person's genetic makeup so that the body produces more hormones or other natural substances that improve athletic performance.
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Nobody even blinks when Olympic committees worry about "gene doping" in the 2008 China games — a biotechnology that today, in mice, produces creatures that are astonishing to look at. Some genetically engineered mice have had their muscle mass increased by as much as 300 percent.
—Joel Garreau, “The Next Generation; Biotechnology May Make Superhero Fantasy a Reality,” The Washington Post, April 26, 2002
1999 (earliest)
Initially, gene-doping will only be used on a fraction of cells. So it will just be a substitute for other forms of doping where the sportsman puts in something extra that the body already produces, as is the case with EPO: 'But in the long run,' says Saltin, 'when we are capable of modifying all the cells, it will be possible to regulate the genes so as to produce extra fast contraction proteins or to increase the amount of oxidising enzymes.' In other words, make athletes run faster or longer.
—Michael Butcher, “Inside Story: Next: the genetically modified athlete,” The Guardian, December 15, 1999
Doping, "the administration of drugs to improve athletic performance," has been going on since ancient times, when Roman gladiators used stimulants such as strychnine to pump themselves up for battle. The word itself (in this sense) first appeared in the early 1900s. Gene doping is a sinister variation on this theme in which the drugs are "administered" by convincing the body to produce them. This is done using gene therapy (1971), "the insertion of genes into a cell to replace missing or defective genes that are causing medical problems." In this case, however, the inserted genes contain instructions that enable the body to produce large amounts of a hormone, protein, or other natural substance that improves performance. The consensus so far is that these genetic modifications will be undetectable.