5. On 1st March 2006 we launched our inquiry into
the use of human enhancement technologies (HETs) in sport. We
believe that it would be of major credit to the United Kingdom
if the 2012 Olympic Games were remembered as a major sporting
event in which doping did not detract from its success. We therefore
set out to 'horizon-scan' future illegal HETs and to determine
the UK's current arrangements for countering doping and its intentions
for doing so during the 2012 Olympics. In addition, the Committee
was keen to evaluate mechanisms by which UK athletes can be supported
in their pursuit of sporting success, with particular interest
in some of the legal mechanisms by which an athlete's performance
may be enhanced.
6. Given the broad subject area, the Committee decided
to limit the scope of this inquiry to HETs which may be used to
enhance human performance through changes to human physiology,
for example with use of biological or chemical techniques. Use
of equipment in either Olympic or Paralympic sports was therefore
considered to be outside the remit of the inquiry.
7. In our press release (no. 24 of Session 200506),
the Committee invited evidence on the following points:
i) the potential for different HETs, including drugs,
genetic modification and technological devices, to be used legally
or otherwise for enhancing sporting performance, now and in the
ii) steps that could be taken to minimise the use
of illegal HETs at the 2012 Olympics;
iii) the case, both scientific and ethical, for allowing
the use of different HETs in sport and the role of the public,
government and Parliament in influencing the regulatory framework
for the use of HETs in sport; and
iv) the state of the UK research and skills base
underpinning the development of new HETs, and technologies to
facilitate their detection.
8. We launched this inquiry with a public seminar
in which we heard from Mr Linford Christie OBE, Olympic gold medal
winner and Dr Roger Palfreeman, British Cycling Medical Officer.
We also heard from Professor Ron Maughan of Loughborough University,
Mr Steve Maynard from HFL Ltd (a WADA-accredited testing laboratory)
and Professor Julian Savulescu from the University of Oxford.
9. We held four oral evidence sessions, during which
we heard from:
- The Head of the Elite Sports
Team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Mr
Matthew Reader; Mr John Scott (Director) and Ms Allison Holloway
(Education Manager) of the Drug-Free Sport programme of UK Sport.
- Professor Ian McGrath, University of Glasgow
and current Chairman of the Physiological Society, Dr Anna Casey,
a research leader from QinetiQ, Dr Bruce Hamilton, Chief Medical
Officer at UK Athletics and Dr John Brewer, Director of Sports
Science and the Lucozade Sport Science Academy at GlaxoSmithKline.
- Dr Richard Budgett, Chief Medical Officer of
the British Olympic Association; and Professor Arne Ljungqvist,
Chairman of both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical
Commission and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Health, Medical
and Research Committee.
- The Right Honourable Richard Caborn MP, Minister
for Sport, DCMS
10. The transcripts of these sessions are published
with this Report, together with the written submissions received
in response to our call for evidence and requests for supplementary
11. In July 2006 members of the Committee attended
the European College of Sports Science (ECSS) 2006 conference
held in Lausanne. This visit gave us the opportunity to learn
about use of HETs in sport and the surrounding ethical debate.
The Committee also travelled to Australia where we met, amongst
others, representatives from the Australian Sports Commission
(ASC) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the New South
Wales Institute of Sport, the Court of Arbitration for Sport,
the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), The Garvan
Institute, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Sports Medicine
Australia and parliamentary representatives, including the Australian
Minister for Sport Rod Kemp MP. We also visited the Loughborough
University and English Institute of Sport (EIS) to enable us to
compare UK sports training facilities with those we saw in Australia
and to take the opportunity to discuss some of the issues surrounding
sports science with UK academics. We are grateful to all who helped
organise these visits and contributed evidence to this inquiry.
We would also like to place on record our thanks to our specialist
adviser, Professor Ron Maughan from the School of Sport and Exercise
Sciences at Loughborough University.