Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Uncertainty prevails on sports DNA tests

Eddy Curry, a 22 year old player in the National Basketball Association who missed 19 games last season because of an irregular heartbeat, refused the Chicago Bulls' request that he take a DNA test to determine whether he is susceptible to a potentially fatal heart condition. He was traded last week to the New York Knicks, and he passed his physical on Friday.
These are the facts. A great deal of uncertainty remains, however. Not just about Curry's health but about the increasingly sophisticated and perhaps intimidating methods used to test and analyze the insides of athletes. What are the ethics of such testing? Does it work? Where might it lead? And how much information about a person is too much? "I think there are valid points on both sides," said Peter Roby, director of Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society. "A player must be careful about what source of information he allows people to get access to. Who the heck knows what's in your medical history or DNA? "On the other hand, you have an organization that wants to make sure they can do all they can to protect their interests and investments before they commit upwards of $60 million to a player. So I can understand why they would want to use every possible means to investigate that."


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