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« Bubba: "I think we should check people for mental problems if they're taking deer antler spray." | Main | SI Writer On Morning Drive: “I’m guessing that Vijay Singh doesn’t know the product has been called out by the PGA Tour specifically.” »
Wednesday
Jan302013

Vijay "Shocked" To Learn He Was Using Banned Substance

Guess Vijay Singh hasn't heard of Google either.

His statement following the SI story where he is quoted confessing to using a banned substance was sent out by the PGA Tour:

"In light of the recent article on sportsillustrated.com, I want to issue the following statement:

"While I have used deer antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA TOUR Anti-Doping Policy. In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. I am absolutely shocked that deer antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position. I have been in contact with the PGA TOUR and am cooperating fully with their review of this matter. I will not be commenting further at this time."

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Reader Comments (45)

There have been rumors about Vijay for many years and this only seems to confirm it...Hard guy to root for either way.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
LOL! Deer Antler Spray! I can see where that helps you improve your golf game a whole heck of allot LOL!!!!!!!!

If this is in fact true than Cigarette's should be banned for helping calm your nerves and thus helping to make a putt...What a JOKE!
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Sounds awfully reminiscent of Barry Bonds not knowing anything about "the cream" and "the clear"....
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
In the age of Lance, you are more credible if you admit guilt whether you are or not. Nobody believes a claim of innocence anymore.
At least VJ has never been accused of cheating on his scorecard...
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterd
Vijay up to no good-surely not?!!
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
@Viz: This isn't about improving your golf game. Deer Antler Spray is used to help recover from injuries. Does it work? Ask Ray Lewis, dude tore his triceps on Oct. 14th and he will be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaggededge
I'm interpreting this as Vijay feeling completely unthreatened by the PGA's punishment system.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
Viz, I think that cigarettes banned from official golf. And thinking of one chain smoker (John Daly) ban alcohol as well. Think that will influence the casual player's game?
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt H.
As best I can tell Vijay has 9 wins that *count*....JFTR.

Rory has 4. Kenny Perry has 3. Others updates coming...
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@raggededge

Yes I know what it's meant for...My point is that it has no effect on your performance on the course but used to recover from an injury....I see NOTHING wrong with that at all. It's not giving you an UNFAIR advantage on the course. It's helping you recover from an injury. This whole PED thing is getting way OVERBLOWN by the MEDIA period.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
I knew this sounded familiar. Comment by a regular when Calcavecchia was told to cease and desist in 2011:

"This is just plain stupid. IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) works only when injected, usually subcutaneously. It is hard to see how a 'spray' will do anything, even if administered under the tongue. A 70-amino acid peptide hormone will not get into the circulation that way. There are formulations of insulin that can be taken up when 'snorted' but they are not in widespread use. From the company website: 'Research indicates that deer antler velvet has a holistic effect wherein the benefits are a result of its combined ingredients rather than its individual components.' Holistic. Uh huh. Jeebus."

As far as Ray Lewis is concerned, what was it that Colin said about the placebo effect? Besides, that injury was more than three months ago and one would imagine that Mr. Lewis has had unrestricted access to the best rehabilitation therapists in the world.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
I recently watched an ESPN 30for30 about the Olympic 100 meter that Ben Johnson won. How he was found to use PED. (Setting aside if he was framed after the race) The thing that everyone talked about was how PEDs allow you to train longer, harder and recover faster than without. So instead of a hard workout every other day you can train hard twice a day. That gets you to the top form. You actually stop using them ahead of the competitions because the build-up is done.

So the current 'pick players to pee in a cup walking off the course' method is almost a waste of time.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
Why does this sound familiar? Oh, yes, Casablanca. :)

Captain Renault: "I'm shocked...shocked to find out there is gambling going on here!"
Casino worker: "Here are your winnings, sir".
Renault: "Oh, thank you very much".

Vijay's shock rings extraordinarily hollow to me. And who on the earth was the first one to say say- hey! I bet deer antler spray would make me a better athlete. :)
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
That settles it for Vijay: instead of turning 50 and still competing with the "young bucks" he should be put out to (Champions Tour) pasture :)
If VJ walks, Barron better lawyer up, and get one of Timmy's houses.

I want to HGH; I can see how it could help me get better, sooner, and time is all we have.

As to this, well, I let my PGA card expire.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Vijay should be suspended for sheer stupidity (the item was on the banned substance list after-all). That being said their was nothing performance enhancing about it. Even if you accept that IGF-1 is a PED (which is another ball of wax), you can't get it into your body via spray. See articles from PED, hormone experts here and here:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/baltimore-sports-blog/bal-ray-lewis-denies-using-banned-substance-during-rehab-from-injury-20130129,0,7725655.story
http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-deer-antler-spray-20130130,0,3189504.story

I mean let me put it this way, even if the tour did blood testing, and tested for this: Vijay still would have passed bc the substance never actually entered his body.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
It's amazing to me why he would use something like this, but when you consider the lengths he takes to improve his game its not all that surprising I guess.

PGA Tour golfers almost always win an event because they putt better then everyone else, and in some cases they hit more greens in regulation. Hitting it 315 vs 300 isn't a big enough advantage to warrant the risk IMO. But I'll never play at that level so I guess its hard for me to comment on if the risk is worth it.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChicago John
Thank you PGA Tour for editing, massaging and sending out my statement. You are such a good partner,
Vijay
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVijay
Chicago John,

I don't think Vijay was using it for distance. At his age and with his reputation for long days on the driving range, he was probably using it in hopes it would give him the kind of stamina on the range that he used to have as a younger person.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDRM
Vijay needs to hire Mark Steinberg as an agent. This issue would be a lot less sloppy.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrookline
Pretty soon WATER will be a PED for god sake!
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
So it begs the question. If you use a banned substance in a way that doesn't actually work, did you actually use it? (i.e. administered in a way that never entered the blood stream)

Not to get all Bill Clintony but we need understand the definition of "use".
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChip Gaskins
What about all that volcanic ash or lava rock or whatever it was Jesper was inJesting?
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]

Casablanca
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterH Leonard
Question: does Vijay get a blue curtain media media culpa monent with a stacked audience? just askin
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Yes, Jesper was getting his rocks off.

Yes, everything is illegal, and we should all be locked up.

Yes VJ should be banned for stupidity.

It's all too much.

This pleasing the GD crooked Olympics scammers is as dumb as it gets, but I am about ready to see if the govt has enough balls to really come down on Tim and the 25 VP buddy non profit. Smell test alarms all across America are going off. It seems that the PGAT
needs to pay its troops, clean out the office, be non participatory in the Olys, and quit wasting money on all this banned substance stuff.

If a flyer specificlly mentions deer dung, ten VJ is , well, sadly, just guilty. If Doug Barron went down, andVJ doesn't we need Miami Vice, or Ponce Deleon, or someone in Florida to go get all jiggy wit it on the PGAT. SMELL TEST. Not knowing is ok in the 4th grade.

This all pisses me off. This shit should be legal, and laughed at. 9 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR SNAKE OIL!

Wow. I get the feeling that VJ has all that shit from TV in the middle of the night- can't you see him doing those dance moves in front of his 60 inch Sony.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
"mea culpa" :o)
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
@diggie...secretly, Finchem is going "whew, thank Gawd"...this is the perfect fall guy for him...not a media darling or "insider"...Finchem is so happy this is Vijay and not Tiger...I can hear his sighs of relief from here. (but you're right about the non-profit stuff)...sooner or later..."look out, she's gonna blow"!
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
you've got an old guy...at the end of his reg. PGA Tour career...not particularly well liked...throw him to the wolves...back up the Greyhound.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
For all the people that say in one form or the other "Taking XXX won't help you drop the 10 foot puts, so basically XXX or anything like it isn't helpful for golfers", I will quote Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption "Are you being obtuse?" Obviously a PED doesn't make you any better at a given skill, be it putting or hitting curvalls or throwing curveballs. What can make you better is practicing those skills, and having your body in shape to be able to practice more than the other guy(s). The powers that be have determined that HGH and derivatives of it convey and unfair advantage. Why isn't advil banned ? I have no idea, but it isn't, and this stuff is. I give credit to Vijay for not hiding from it, but now I don't see how he shouldn't be penalized in some way, by which I am thinking a suspension is in order for some portion of the season.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Viz,
There is much information available to show that PED do effect performance by increasing strength and endurance. So a player can practice longer, play more tournaments and likely hit the ball further. Strength can add distance if applied properly. Added strength can also help with less fatigue after continuously swinging the club.
Their are also PED which help calm nerves and have been known to be used to help players with stress on the course, ie. putting.
So it not so simple.
Barry Bonds' remarkable athletic ability allowed him to make great contact with the baseball, PED's allowed him to reverse the typical age curve in baseball and actually increase his HR production dramatically after 32 years of age. The only people who doubt this are people like Barry himself, which makes you ask why he would take them in the first place. Or....perhaps he has issues.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
"I am thinking a suspension is in order for some portion of the season. "

ha, ha..that's hilarious...for spraying deer dust on his own self?...suspended? danke mein furer
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
@ Bobby - the Tour sent out a memo in 2011 specifically telling the players not to use this stuff, it contains banned substances. Vijay ignored that. If they don't do something to him, they might as well as cancel their whole program - which they can't/won't/shouldn't do. It is a sad fact, that given the money involved, folks will push the envelope, and in this case right over the edge.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Well water is performance enhancing, I mean if you didn't drink water during a round I'm sure your performance would go way down. Seriously nearly everything you take is performance enhancing, at least in your mind, if it wasn't you wouldn't take it.

Given that there's more scientific evidence that advil helps you on a daily exercise regime than HGH, you really can't make a logical argument for the former and against the latter. The WADA anti-doping policy isn't actually based on science, it's based on fear, fear of anything that hasn't been used for years and that they don't understand. And I'm sorry but I don't think that's good enough. And I am certainly not going to vilify people based on no evidence. And banning deer antler spray is beyond dumb, as is taking it.

That being said, a stupid rule is still a rule. Vijay broke one, he should be suspended.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Elf,
Can you provide examples of where WADA's policies are not based on science. I understand that various individual sports policies are weak or ineffectual but WADA is well ahead of most of those. So some examples please.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
@KG - HGH, zero scientific studies have proven it does anything to help healthy individuals
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterElf
Hard to believe that Vijay could let himself be duped into buting what is essentially a homeopathic placebo.

I'm pretty sure he didn't know the deer spray was banned. But someone in his entourage should have looked into it. His trainer, at least, should earn his money and monitor anything Vijay does to, or puts into, his body. And someone should have spent five minutes on the internet to see if there's any science at all that suggests the claims of SWATS are even remotely true.

Placebos can be effective, of course. In fact, Vijay's last run of wins (2008) was due to his convincing himself he was the best putter in the world. He managed to maintain that belief for about two months, during which he had three official wins, plus Tiger's hit-and-giggle event.

The real lunacy is in putting a banned substance in a placebo in the first place. It's like putting heroin into corn syrup and then claiming it will cause weight loss if you rub it on your toes. What's the point?

He should have to run naked from tee to green at Scottsdale's 16th while the other players spank his butt with the skinny end of their drivers. A crime of stupidity should have a stupid punishment. Sadly, I think he will get a much saner sentence. I hope he spends some of his time off writing "I will research what I ingest" 1000 times every day. I also hope he manages to convince himself again that he is the best putter in the world, and finds some real medicine that will actually cure his injuries or maintain his health.
01.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay
There may be a one or two pro golfers who really aren't very bright at all- only good for whacking balls on a range perhaps and with some good chipping and putting making a good living playing the game. They may not understand the implications of what they do off the course.
Only one or two. No names.
once a cheat, always a cheat!
01.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhahaha

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