Book Chapter

Genetic Limitations to Athletic Performance



Moran C & Wang G (2021) Genetic Limitations to Athletic Performance. In: Tiidus PM, MacPherson REK, LeBlanc PJ & Josse AR (eds.) The Routledge Handbook on Biochemistry of Exercise. Routledge International Handbooks. London: Routledge, pp. 218-231.

Elite performance is a complex phenotype. It requires athletes to train hard, train well and look after their bodies through appropriate rest and nutrition. However, it also has a well-established genetic component that is larger than most people would estimate. In this chapter we will explore whether genetic variation could limit an individual’s athletic ability. We will consider the determinants of performance; both nature and nurture. We will explore the extent of genetic variation and how it can impact on physiological traits; as well as the issue of responders versus non-responders. We will discuss in detail some of the best know common and rare genetic variants that influence performance as well as the issues around, and strategies being employed in, discovering more. Lastly we will consider the potential for gene doping and for athletes to try to modify their performance through altering their DNA. Much about the genetics of sporting performance remains unknown. Athletes should not feel limited by any genetic information they currently have. In fact they should want to know more.

Title of seriesRoutledge International Handbooks
Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online28/12/2020
Publisher URL…ok/9780367223830
Place of publicationLondon

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Dr Colin Moran

Dr Colin Moran

Associate Professor, Sport


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