In the not-so-distant future, the Human Genome Project, a federally funded effort to discover the 100,000 or more genes that each person possesses, will unveil its findings. But medical scientists outside that project have already begun promoting theories and benchmark studies. They believe that the ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) Gene, which is active in muscle tissue and regulates blood flow, is one of the keys to determining the potential athletic ability of any given individual. According to their research, people with this gene can consume 20 percent more oxygen than those without it. Earlier this year, a leading geneticist from Princeton told the press, “By using genetic testing, you will be able to identify perhaps 80 percent of the children who have any potential to be a pro athlete.”
Yet identifying high performing athletes is not the benefit one might presume. The International Olympics Committee, in the wake of numerous scandals involving blood doping and performance enhancing drugs, has threatened to begin genetic testing to disqualify athletes who possess an unfair advantage over other competitors. Officials from the organization cite the career of Chicago Cub’s legend Ron Santo, who died December 3 as the result of a lifelong battle with diabetes. Santo was regarded as the best third baseman of his era, and in the seasons between 1966 and 1967 he was arguably one of baseball’s top players in any position. Santo accomplished all of this while suffering the effects of juvenile diabetes. Members of the Olympic Committee claim that performance enhancing steroids and superhuman genetics can only blight the integrity that regular human beings like Santo bring to a sport.
Adult Film Industry Decision
Where the issue of genetic testing gets sticky is in its reach. Richard Shafthat, a spokesman for the Adult Film Industry, announced today that pornographic actors will soon face this kind of scrutiny.
“There are a lot of hungry actors looking to come into porn,” Shafthat said. “The competition is fierce. We’ve begun noticing that some actors have an uncanny ability to perform longer and harder than their peers. And better built, more attractive talent are losing out. I mean, they’re getting screwed...well, they're not actually, which is the problem. Men with the ACE gene can go a solid 45 minutes without breaking to have their pillows fluffed. And the well-endowed never run the risk of passing out when all the blood leaves their brains. The woman can hold their breath for about three minutes. It’s just not equitable, so we’re going to institute testing.”
When asked how the testing would affect actors, Shafthat said, “There’s no ramrod decision yet, and we’re not saying that genetically superior people will just have to bend over and take it. We could limit their screen time. We could use other, normal actors for close ups, so as not to intimidate the audience. Whatever we do, it won’t be ban. Our goal isn’t to stuff these people into some dark hole and squeeze the juice out of them. Unlike those deviants at the Olympics, we don’t want a reputation for objectifying people or treating them like so many pieces of meat. I suppose that’s the difference between art and athletics.”