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“It is not WADA’s intention to target smokers, rather to monitor the effects nicotine can have on performance when taken in oral tobacco products such as snus."

Alex Miceli reports that the World Anti-Doping Agency has taken the first steps toward classifying nicotine as a performance-enhancing drug.

“If WADA put nicotine on its anti-doping list, the PGA Tour would review the addition and determine if it warranted inclusion on the current PGA Tour banned list,” said Ty Votaw, the Tour’s executive vice president of communications and international affairs. “However, we do not believe that such a change in imminent.”

Miceli talks to some of the tour's dippers and smokers, Lucas Glover among them.

“If you’re going to do that, you might as well outlaw drinking, too,” he said. “Alcohol is a drug, as is nicotine. I mean, if you really wanted to get down to it, caffeine is a stimulant, too.”

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Reader Comments (33)

Absolute nonsense
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterigolfchip
Half the stuff the WADA outlaws is absolute nonsense (and yes it'd be silly of them to outlaw nicotine)
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterelf
To those who think that golfers shouldn't curse/spit/throw clubs though, isn't smoking and dipping a far worse example to kids? (and nothing is more disgusting than dip spit, which dippers do constantly). I could see an argument for the PGA tour outlawing smoking/dipping on the course (many sports have already done this).
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Well it is a drug with both stimulant and relaxing properties. Why can't that be an advantage at times on the course? It IS a drug but we like to draw arbitrary lines in the sand when it comes to these things.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterD.
Well, it has been argued/noted that after Mark McCormack made The King stop smoking to improve his image, Arnie never won another Major, and for that very reason.
@KYG -

Interesting ... In "Arnie + Jack", there is a large section talking to Arnie's giving up the smoke. I recall a part where Arnie was talking about smoking heavily during (I think ... Not sure) the 1971 Masters. This was after he had quit smoking, but he got himself into conention and just had to light up.

09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
WADA drag it is getting old (double double!)
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I don't think we all live our lives 100% of the day to be examples to kids. Kids can deal with seeing people smoke and dip. If we were that concerned for the poor little things then TV screens should go blank and we should only let mommy raise them. When a professional sport is so concerned that a shot of nicotine from snuff or a smoke will affect the outcome of the sport then we have entered the age of the ridiculous. I pretty certain I see Lincicum dipping snuff every time he pitches so I wonder if baseball will go after him.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blake Moran
Cialis is a drug that could provide an advantage. look what Tiger's ability to perform off the course did for his career. Also I think taking a drug like Lexapro could provide an advantage because a depressed golfer is more likely to doubt himself on every shot. Driving to a PGA tournament in a Mercedes causes less stress than driving a rusted out '75 Chevy Caprice Classic with bald tires and a cracked windshield, the fancy courtesy cars should be banned too.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterA3
How about Advil while we are on a roll.

Will the tour stop taking money from companies that produce performance enhancing drugs say........Cialis
Just curious, is it actually against any rules to have a drink of alcohol during your round on the golf course on the PGA tour? I know it would be frowned upon to have guys dipping into their golf bag and taking a swill of whiskey, but would they be breaking any rules?
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
A3, I laughed so hard at your post, I have coffee running out my nose - Thanks.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
these jokers can't catch the HGH cycling cheats, so they go after guys puffing a cig? geniuses.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commentersmails
A3, ftw. I drove a 1966 Caprice Classic in high school. I've lived in smaller apartments. A great piece of Detroit metal, that car. Of course, gas was $.35/gallon and gas pumps started over at $9.99. Heh.
I play with a smoker and if he could not smoke he would be out of clubs by the 12th hole.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeith86
It's not about golfers setting an example, it's about understanding if nicotine effects the golf game in any performance enhancing way.
As it's a relaxant and a stimulant, surely one should be open to the idea that it could be enhancing?

If the research ends up showing it has a positive effect on one's golf game, it would make sense to ban it like any other drug. Of course, most people addicted to cigarettes will defend this blindly in the face of any facts.

Interesting to also not that so many golfers smoke cigarettes too.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Green
Maybe not smoking is performance enhancing.

This whole thing is silly
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffC
@ Press Agent...I bet there are more spiked drink bottles than you would believe!
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
A3 for Commisioner!
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterrb
What about the stimulants released by watching attractive females in the gallery?

Or sideline reporters?

Would the WADA ban Erin Andrews?

Say it isn't so.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFan
And as much as I like Lucas Glover, let's not forget caffeine has been debated for a long time about being performance enhancing. He almost argues against his own comment with that statement.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Green
Ky LG: "Well, it has been argued/noted that after Mark McCormack made The King stop smoking to improve his image, Arnie never won another Major, and for that very reason."

Interesting. Did his weight gain start about that time?

Kelly BM: Amen to your entire post. The anti-doping agencies passed "ridiculous" years ago. By the way, I'm not certain that Lincecum is necessarily ingesting snuff. There's a reason he was the poster boy for the Prop 19 supporters last year. Let Timmy Smoke!
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commentercardinal
Not sure El Pato would've won the US Open at Oakmont if he wasn't able to chain smoke down the stretch.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbeagle
Ritalin, Adderall XR (my DOC, prescribed by my doc), Zoloft, Wellbutrin, NoDoz, 5-hour Energy, Red Bull and many others seem that they would be a larger issue than nicotine. Which is to say not an issue at all.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG
I've noticed when I smoke left handed cigarettes; I never 'drop kick' it off the tee. Anyone else?
09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Vega
It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished her well.
09.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterrb
I don't understand why those who run golf believe that there's any need to pay a blind bit of notice to WADA anyway - it should say p$ss off to the Olympics and p$ss off to WADA and just get on with it.

Focusing on smoking as giving a bad example to children is lazy rubbish - there's a lot more to life than whether you smoke or not.
09.21.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbs
For an athlete there aren't many things that do not affect performance in one direction or the other.
There are numerous enhancers, e.g., food, water, adequate sleep, psychologic attitude, that can improve or assure performance level.

The question is, where does one draw the line? Some, including me, feel the nicotine in a cigarette or the caffiene in a soft drink is over the line. Apparently, WADA does not.

WADA is not a for profit organization. I imagine their sources of funding can affect the line of research of WADA.
09.21.2011 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
What's next for WADA? Banning sugar since it does give one a burst of energy? Or regulating hours of sleep? Or perhaps enforcing a special diet so no one athlete can have an advantage? Or how about no more evening Spectravision soft core to help a bachelor athlete relax and relieve tension?

Another reason that adding golf to the olympics was a stupid idea...oh great! Now there are even MORE rules to follow in a game of hit-a-ball-into-a-hole-with-a-stick.
09.21.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
@ Del

If you do spike your drinking bottle, are you breaking any rules? Does the tour have a policy against alcohol during competition?
09.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
@Press Agent: I have read that partaking of alcoholic beverages during competition is strictly prohibited. But that is probably a secret, kind of like the list of fines issued by the TOUR Stasi. What I want to know is who has been checking Long John's water bottle?
The Nanny State lives ...
09.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
Tommy Craggs has consistently offered the best analysis of the whole anti-doping hysteria. He does so again today (with bonus links to some of his past diatribes).
09.21.2011 | Unregistered Commentercardinal

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