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JO-2024: National Assembly approves genetic tests to detect doping

Elected opposition officials tried unsuccessfully to limit the permit to the 2024 Olympics. On Tuesday, MPs voted in favor of tests to detect forms of gene doping. Article 4 of the bill on the Olympic Games, considered in the first reading in the Assembly, was adopted by 83 votes with 14 abstentions (environmentalists, socialists and rebels).

It provides that “a laboratory accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency in France” can perform genetic tests to detect certain forms of doping in athletes (blood injection, sample substitution, genetic mutation or genetic manipulation to improve performance).

But the resolution is not limited in time, much to the annoyance of the opposition. “We could do an experiment that will be evaluated in June 2025,” suggested communist Stefan Peu.

Lack of a look at their ethical implications

Among the reasons for concern is the fact that these tests are carried out too quickly, without sufficient retrospective analysis of their ethical implications, or even end up becoming commonplace in society.

“We are using an element with significant social acceptability, namely the Olympic Games, to roll back fundamental freedoms,” said the rebellious Hugo Bernalichis, already promising an appeal to the Constitutional Council, while the text includes other controversial measures, in particular regarding video surveillance.

The LR amendments and unregistered MP Emmanuel Ménard also proposed limiting the permit to the 2024 Olympics. MP R. N. Jordan Gitton pointed out to him that, in the opinion of the Council of State, these proposals violated the “fundamental provisions of the civil code” arising from the “bioethics laws.”

The government bill, before it was amended and passed in the Senate, originally called for a temporary experiment until the end of 2024.

“Commitment for the Games”

“We must incorporate the measures of the World Anti-Doping Code into our law,” however MP Bertrand Sorre (“Renaissance”), one of the speakers of the text in the Assembly, insisted, citing the “commitment” made by contributing to the organization of the Games.

“This is a commitment to the Games, we must honor it and do it consistently,” Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera added, urging France to remain “at the forefront of this fight.”

“You are driving too fast. Bioethics is still a pretty serious topic,” scolded environmentalist Jeremy Jordanoff, unsuccessfully trying to impose prior consent on the subjects through an amendment. MEPs will continue to study the text on Wednesday.

Source: Le Parisien

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