Ongoing research into gene therapies that purport to enhance muscular development, have concerned anti-doping authorities for years. Such therapies, if successful, would radically alter the playing field of sport. The haves (athletes who could afford the procedure, or who hijack it) would dominate the games over the half-nots. Nonetheless medical researchers almost blindly push ahead (or push ahead for economic gain).
Discover magazine jumps on the controversy with this post. One commenter laments that holding up gene therapy because of doping cheats would slow down medical progress (although it never hurts to allow the ethics to catch up with the science).
A gene therapy treatment intended to reverse muscle weakness appears to restore muscle mass in monkeys, raising hopes that doctors may soon be able to treat this condition in humans with degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy. Scientists injected a gene into the monkeys’ thighs that causes cells to produce human follistatin, which interferes with another compound called myostatin. Myostatin breaks down muscle, so in theory adding follistatin should encourage muscles to grow [Reuters].
Frankly medicine marches onward, not slowed by much even ethical concerns. As medicine becomes 'corporate' one wonders if the 'customers' who demand doping protocols, and who can afford the costs won't be rewarded in the future with out-sized sports achievements. Kinda like buying the World Series...or buying a gold medal.