Saturday, July 23, 2011

Letter Re "Genetic testing for sports genes courts controversy," Washington Post

Raw athletic performance is undoubtedly one of most correlated physical traits with genes. As our understanding of the science grows we are likely to see even more testing in this area. But, while the article focused on the genetic testing of children's athletic potential, another serious concern lies in the use of this technology in professional sports. Not only will coaches and owners want to test their players to discern untapped strengths or potential weaknesses, but intrepid fans are likely to collect their favorite player's DNA, -surreptitiously, or otherwise- to submit it for testing. How long before players DNA stats are traded online or even added to the back of a sports card along with the player's age and weight? However, in contrast to age and weight, an athlete's DNA contains a lot of information that might be considered private to them or to their extended family -- which shares much of the same DNA.

Dov Greenbaum & Mark Gerstein

Unpublished letter in response to:
Rob Stein's "Genetic testing for sports genes courts controversy," Washington Post, May 18, 2011