At the point where competition is absolutely fair, if we are arguing from this angle, it seems like everyone would tie. "Everyone must start from the same genetic starting point." So I guess it would come down to training and practice and how much you do both?
But sorry, guy, success isn't just a factor of how hard you work. I'm pretty sure we all know this. You can slave away and not succeed. J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was as much a freak success as a result of her work and talent.
Does being raised in a household that values literacy and writing give you an unfair advantage in writing over those who don't?
I think when it comes to the point where you can't change the factors that make you who you are, it doesn't come down to "fair" or "unfair." I can't help my basic physiology. I can strive to improve it, both naturally (diet, exercise, etc) and non-naturally (doping, replacement limbs, etc). It would be at least as unfair to exclude athletes from sports for factors that they can't help as Gladwell tries to argue that it may be unfair to allow them to participate.
This all being said, I'm not a Gladwell fan.