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Baseball's Brave New World of Genetic Testing

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Baseball's Brave New World of Genetic Testing

Postby cathy347 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:04 pm

We earlier admonished Wimbledon officials for taking women's attractiveness into account when setting up court assignments, but at least female tennis players don't have to hand over DNA samples before they can play.
That's not always the case with baseball players.

The New York Times reports that baseball officials have turned to DNA tests and bone scans to confirm some players' identities and ages before signing them. It seems that some player-prospects fudge such information -- specifically, they claim they're younger -- to make themselves more attractive to teams.

Federal law passed last year bars U.S.-based companies from requesting DNA from their employees. MLB officials have confirmed that they've used DNA testing in rare cases with unsigned prospects in the Dominican Republic, including a player set to play with the New York Yankees before having his contract canceled last week.

An unnamed scouting director for one MLB team told the Times that, in his view, the DNA tests were heading down a slippery slope. Said the scout:

"It's a tough area to figure morally and in all kinds of directions. Can they test susceptibility to cancer? I don't know if they're doing any of that. But I know they're looking into trying to figure out susceptibility to injuries, things like that. If they come up with a test that shows someone's connective tissue is at a high risk of not holding up, can that be used? I don't know. I do think that's where this is headed."

With risk in any professional sport already high, I don't know that genetic testing would provide that much extra information on the likelihood of an injury, but it would set a dangerous precedent.

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Re: Baseball's Brave New World of Genetic Testing

Postby jackie hayes » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:35 pm

The Sports Law Blog's take on the legal questions: ... ng-on.html

Sounds as if this will be illegal come November.
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Re: Baseball's Brave New World of Genetic Testing

Postby GiantsFan14 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:34 pm

if it's the only way to prevent falsifying ages i don't see a problem with it
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