Attack of the Clones: Problematising Equine Sports Integrity Regulation On the Ascendancy of the Genetically Copied Athlete




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Lawtext Publishing



Peer reviewed



Cloned horses are already here and competing; this article considers in turn, both the challenges and the unprecedented opportunities for the development of human athlete regulation that the current participation of cloned equines in elite sport presents.
The arrival of the cloned human athlete has hitherto been considered as a future ‘spectre’ beset with potential sports ethics dilemmas. This paper argues however, that the Kuhnian state of crisis that sports integrity will be thrown into by the advent of the human clone will bring about a paradigm shift of epic proportions. There is however, the opportunity to learn from the regulatory mistakes of the past and shape the guidelines for human clones by regulating their equine counterparts effectively now. The current hegemony is that integrity regulation for one species, man, can be applied to another, horses, with little substantive amendment and be effective. The first sport of any kind to incorporate anti-doping measures into its rules was thoroughbred racing. In the early 1900s racehorses were subject to dope tests because of fears that they were being given cocaine. Human athlete sports followed suit and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code is the ultimate development of that thinking. Examples cited are the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) regulations and to a different degree the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rules developed independently from WADA.
None of this has resulted in a satisfactory situation as this paper will demonstrate. The better results are achieved by careful species-specific drafting well in advance of technological change, not struggling to keep up with innovation.

This article is part of a Special Edition of CIL incorporating selected papers from Buckingham University and DMU's 'Horses in Culture, Society and the Law' Conference Series inaugural event at DMU in April 2017. The Special Edition is edited by Dr Jonathan Merritt of DMU and Dr Sarah Sargent of Buckingham University.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version


WADA, British Horse Racing Authority, strict liability, cloning, equine sports, equestrianism


Merritt, J. (2018) 'Attack of the Clones': Problematising Equine Sports Integrity Regulation On the Ascendancy of the Genetically Copied Athlete. Contemporary Issues in Law,14 (3),pp.191-216.


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