Host: American Enterprise Institute. It is said to be sports’ doomsday scenario: a new generation of chemically enhanced or bioengineered athletes transformed from also-rans into world champions. We are entering an age often referred to as posthumanist, and sport is its leading edge. Elite athletes regularly remake their bodies in an effort to stretch human performance, benefiting from dramatic advances in medical technology, reconstructive surgery, and drug therapy. Most physiologists, ethicists, and sport authorities have attempted to draw a line—one that critics say is hazy and unenforceable—that makes certain performance-enhancing drugs and gene manipulation off limits. Should gene manipulation and drugs be permitted to alter the mythical “level playing field” of life? Should humans be allowed or even encouraged to change their natural athletic endowments, and, if so, would that open the way for manipulating other innate characteristics? Considering that sports are heavily subsidized by governments and what occurs on the playing field is often a leading indicator for the exploitation of new technologies, what implications does this coming era of the über-athlete have for society and public policy?
Added by insideronline on November 19, 2008