Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More on Genetic Tests for Performance

A few months ago, I posted on the use of genetic tests in the AFL. Since my very first talk about genomics and sport in 1999 at the First International Conference on Human Rights and Sport, I have been arguing on this subject. In 2003, the Australian Law Reforms Commission wrote about the potential for discrimination arising from genetic tests in sport.

This issue has arisen again in the context of the Australian Football League. Reports indicate that Port Adelaide and Essendon are considering the use of genetic tests to 'predict' the capacity of 'natural physical attributes'. The Age (Sydney) reported that each test would cost around AU$750 and AFL Players' Association president, Brendon Gale, has argued that such tests would be contrary to privacy laws in Australia. This issues seems about to, ahem, 'kick off' in Australia and few other countries have yet to really think it through.

Certainly, employment law might be a reasonable avenue for action within the UK, though where this takes place with young athletes, it seems likely to fall within the realm of parental consent.

Some of this relates to a piece I published a few years ago on this subject:

Miah, A. (2001) Genetics, Law & Athletes' Rights, Sports Law Bulletin 4(5), pp.10-12
Available here: http://www.media.paisley.ac.uk/andymiah/Miah2001GeneTest.pdf

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