The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), as part of its continuing efforts to eradicate doping in sport and protect the health of athletes, has awarded more than $1 million dollars (U.S.) in grants to fund research designed to detect new methods of prohibited performance-enhancement, including a study involving gene manipulation.
“Our commitment to clean sport is most evident in the $2 million we dedicate annually to research,” said USADA Senior Managing Director Dr. Larry Bowers. “Only by making these investments, and in combination with education, will we have the best opportunity to deter doping in sport.”
USADA has committed more than $460,000 U.S. to a two-year study conducted by the Hastings Institute in Garrison, N.Y. to investigate the present and future implications of gene transfer technology and the ethical issues inherent in attempting to detect genetic manipulation. The study, led by Dr. Thomas Murray, will also address the ethics surrounding genetic testing conducted to determine the most favorable athletic traits in an individual.
“The science of genetics is poised to have a significant impact on Olympic sport in several ways: through genetic selection, targeted genomics and proteomics and, perhaps, through genetic manipulation,” said Dr. Murray. “With USADA’s generous support, The Hastings Center is eager to contribute to understanding the ethical and policy implications of genetic science in sport.”
King’s College London in England received approximately $400,000 U.S. from USADA for a broad study on steroids in women, including the concentrations of specific urinary steroids. The Institute of Hematology, Royal Prince Albert Hospital in Camperdown, Australia was awarded an $80,000 U.S. grant to investigate the ability to detect infusion of stored red blood cells from the same individual.
A total of $90,000 U.S. was distributed to several institutions to provide reference materials to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratories, including Albany Molecular Research, Inc. of Albany, N.Y.; the National Measurement Institute of Australia in Sydney, Australia; and ARC Seibersdorf Research Gmbh in Seibersdorf, Austria.
USADA is responsible for managing the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs. USADA allocates $2 million annually towards the study of prohibited substances, the development of tests, and other issues involved with the practice of doping in sport. Recommendations for funding of grant proposals are made by an independent Research Policy Advisory Committee.
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