Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sports Implications of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
Shaun Assel of ESPN Magazine has an interesting article on the sports implications of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which goes into effect Nov. 21, and which explicitly bars employers from using genetic results in hiring and workplace decisions. The piece, which discusses a topic that might make for a great student law review/journal note, is available on ESPN Insider, so I can only post a small portion it. Here's a short excerpt, which features an interview with Sports Law Blog's Alan Milstein, a national expert on bioethics and the law and who represented Eddy Curry when he played for the Chicago Bulls and when the Bulls demanded that Curry take a DNA test:
* * *The new law may have the most relevance to current employees, says Alan Milstein, a New Jersey lawyer with experience in both sports and biotechnology.
Milstein represented NBA forward Eddy Curry in a celebrated 2005 case in which the Chicago Bulls refused to extend Curry's contract unless he took a genetic test. (The team was trying to determine if he had a rare mutation that increased his chance of suffering a fatal heart attack while exerting himself.) Curry signed with the Knicks without ever having to surrender a sample. Millstein says that the new act is designed to prevent a similar situation from arising again.
"It goes hand-in-hand with all the laws that say your medical history is your own and no one can have access to it," he says.
* * *
For the rest of the piece, click here. For a terrific historical overview of these issues, check out Alan Milstein's Out of the Park: A History of Sports and the Human Condition. For other Sports Law Blog posts on DNA testing, click here. For a law review article that I wrote on DNA testing and the Eddy Curry situation, see The Reckless Pursuit of Dominion: A Situational Analysis of the NBA and Diminishing Player Autonomy 8 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 819 (2006).