Ethical Considerations of Genetic Manipulation in Sport

Submission by Dr. John T. Ehrbar1*

1* Student of doctoral studies in sports management at the United States Sports Academy

ABSTRACT

New technologies are currently being developed that will enable medical professionals to modify genes for medicinal purposes.  As the process continues to be refined, the emergence of a controversial new use for this technology has ignited some serious debate.  Scientists have submitted that genetic modification could potentially be used as a method of performance enhancement in sport.  There are different schools of thought on this type of performance enhancement, and researchers and theorists have argued the advantages and disadvantages of using such a technology.  These arguments are discussed in the present review.  Though the ethical debate on this matter is in its infancy, a general consensus is that the allowance of genetic modification for the purpose of enhancing performance in sport will most certainly create a new look, along with new concerns, for sport in the future.

Key words: ethics, gene doping, sport, performance, enhancement Continue reading

Sartrean Ethics and Sport for Development and Peace Programs

Submitted by Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is a graduate student in sport studies at the United States Sports Academy and currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI.

ABSTRACT

The United Nations recently declared the first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in recognition of “the power of sport to erase cultural barriers and mobilize people around the world” (9). Unfortunately, while many organizations recognize the ethical neutrality of sport in name, this is often functionally forgotten as sport is co-opted for use by other programs. This paper aims to briefly outline this functional issue by observing the cognitive dissonance within the UN’s statement and its characterization of the Olympics and World Cup events as archetypes of sport for development and peace programs. It will briefly examine this dissonance through the lens of a Sartrean ethic of ambiguity and recast the Olympic and World Cup events as archetypes of cultural hegemony. Finally, it will be suggested that until this dissonance is reconciled, SDP’s will suffer from “inauthenticity,” severely hampering the program’s ability to achieve stated development and peace goals, jeopardizing the “survival of sport as a noble human enterprise” (Morgan, 1976 p. 93) and turning it into a “mere vehicle for the exploitation of man’s own self interests” (Morgan, 1976 p. 91).

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