With the Torino Winter Olympics due to kick off on Friday (February 10), anti-doping authorities are still hoping that the spectre of gene doping -- the misuse of gene therapy to boost athletic performance -- will not cast its shadow over the competition. However, a recent court case in Germany appears to suggest otherwise.Gene doping is a cause for concern among those who want to keep sports clean because it is potentially hard to detect. Until very recently, experts had spoken about it as something that would happen in the future. But in recent days, a German court hearing evidence in the trial of a running coach accused of giving performance-enhancing drugs to young athletes was told that a search of his Email inbox turned up references to a product called Repoxygen.Repoxygen, developed by UK firm Oxford Biomedica, delivers the gene for erythropoietin to muscle cells in a...

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