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Keywords:

  • detection;
  • gene doping;
  • gene therapy;
  • secreted proteins;
  • sport;
  • transcription factors

With one recently recommended gene therapy in Europe and a number of other gene therapy treatments now proving effective in clinical trials it is feasible that the same technologies will soon be adopted in the world of sport by unscrupulous athletes and their trainers in so called ‘gene doping’. In this article an overview of the successful gene therapy clinical trials is provided and the potential targets for gene doping are highlighted. Depending on whether a doping gene product is secreted from the engineered cells or is retained locally to, or inside engineered cells will, to some extent, determine the likelihood of detection. It is clear that effective gene delivery technologies now exist and it is important that detection and prevention plans are in place.