Int J Sports Med 2008; 29(4): 352-355
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-965339
Genetics & Molecular Biology

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The ACTN3 Gene in Elite Greek Track and Field Athletes

I. D. Papadimitriou1 , 2 , C. Papadopoulos1 , A. Kouvatsi2 , C. Triantaphyllidis2
  • 1Laboratory of Sports Biomechanics, Aristotle University, Serres, Greece
  • 2Department of Genetics, Development and Molecular Biology, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision February 2, 2007

Publication Date:
18 September 2007 (online)


The study of genetic influence in the making of an Olympic champion is still in its nascence, but recent work has provided findings regarding the association of the ACTN3 gene on athletic performance. The aim of this study was to examine genetic differences among elite Greek track and field athletes by analysing a mononucleotide polymorphism in exon 15 of the ACTN3 gene. Results showed that ACTN3 genotype and allele frequencies in the top power-oriented athletes were statistically significantly different from those in a representative random sample of the Greek population: the frequency of the RR ACTN3 genotype in power-oriented athletes vs. the general population was 47.94 % vs. 25.97 %. This result was even more prominent for comparison of the subgroup of sprinters to controls. The results suggest an overall strong association between the presence of the RR genotype and elite power performance.


Prof. Costas Triantaphyllidis

Department of Genetics, Development and Molecular Biology
Aristotle University

University Campus

54124 Thessaloniki


Phone: + 30 23 10 99 83 09

Fax: + 30 23 10 99 83 74

Email: [email protected]