Calabresi, G., & Bobbitt, N. (1978). Tragic Choices. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
AUTHORS: Swen Körner
ABSTRACT: Numerous examples illustrate that modern societies tend to fail at controlling the fallout from medico-scientific progress. Technologies developed for medicine and therapeutics do not infrequently spill over into other social ambits to be repurposed. Within the area of emerging technologies, and necessarily linked to gene-therapeutical research, so called gene doping is discussed as promising form of illegitimate performance enhancement in elite sports at the moment. The following paper focuses on the relationship between elite sports and gene doping from a sociological point of view. For what social reason is sport likely to become an experimental field for the use of gene doping? In a first step, prevailing fantasies about gene doping as opposed to the current state of biomedical research are outlined. In a second step, 1) relevant social structures of modern elite sports are presented exemplarily, in order to 2) shed light on doping as a functional adaptation of internal expectations of the system. Considering this background, it becomes clear that the potential use of gene doping is highly expectable for elite sports. The contribution ends up with the conclusion that the promise of gene doping is functional and challenging for a large number of players inside and outside the world of sports.