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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for predicting sports performance and talent identification: Consensus statement
Authors: Webborn, Nick
Williams, Alun
McNamee, Mike
Bouchard, Claude
Pitsiladis, Yannis
Ahmetov, Ildus
Ashley, Euan
Byrne, Nuala
Camporesi, Silvia
Collins, Malcolm R
Dijkstra, Paul
Eynon, Nir
Fuku, Noriyuki
Garton, Fleur
Moran, Colin Neil
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Issue Date: Dec-2015
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Citation: Webborn N, Williams A, McNamee M, Bouchard C, Pitsiladis Y, Ahmetov I, Ashley E, Byrne N, Camporesi S, Collins MR, Dijkstra P, Eynon N, Fuku N, Garton F & Moran CN (2015) Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for predicting sports performance and talent identification: Consensus statement, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49 (23), pp. 1486-1491.
Abstract: The general consensus among sport and exercise genetics researchers is that genetic tests have no role to play in talent identification or the individualised prescription of training to maximise performance. Despite the lack of evidence, recent years have witnessed the rise of an emerging market of direct-to-consumer marketing (DTC) tests that claim to be able to identify children's athletic talents. Targeted consumers include mainly coaches and parents. There is concern among the scientific community that the current level of knowledge is being misrepresented for commercial purposes. There remains a lack of universally accepted guidelines and legislation for DTC testing in relation to all forms of genetic testing and not just for talent identification. There is concern over the lack of clarity of information over which specific genes or variants are being tested and the almost universal lack of appropriate genetic counselling for the interpretation of the genetic data to consumers. Furthermore independent studies have identified issues relating to quality control by DTC laboratories with different results being reported from samples from the same individual. Consequently, in the current state of knowledge, no child or young athlete should be exposed to DTC genetic testing to define or alter training or for talent identification aimed at selecting gifted children or adolescents. Large scale collaborative projects, may help to develop a stronger scientific foundation on these issues in the future.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Notes: Additional co-authors: Nils Hoppe, Søren Holm, Jane Kaye, Vassilis Klissouras, Alejandro Lucia, Kamiel Maase, Kathryn N North, Fabio Pigozzi, Guan Wang
Affiliation: University of Brighton
Manchester Metropolitan University
Swansea University
Louisiana State University
University of Brighton
Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture
Stanford University
Bond Institute of Health and Sport
King's College London
University of Cape Town
Aspetar-Qatar Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Hospital
Victoria University
Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology
University of Melbourne

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