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Vijay's Lawyer: Tour Has Made Multiple Drug Policy Exceptions

Peter Ginsburg, Vijay Singh's attorney in the lawsuit against the tour over Vijay's since-revoked suspension, says he has evidence that the PGA Tour has been exempting players from testing and has chosen not to punish others for positive test results.

Ryan Ballengee reveals what was said in a court hearing last month.

“[O]ne of the elements of bad faith that we are prepared to show in this case, is that the PGA (Tour) has made exception after exception after exception, both with regard to whom it was administering this drug policy, and against whom it was disciplining, violators of the drug policy,” Ginsburg said in an Oct. 24 hearing on the PGA Tour’s motion to dismiss Singh’s lawsuit.

Ginsburg continued, “[F]or some reason, for some reason, for some reason, the PGA (Tour) singled out Mr. Singh and treated him in a way that it has not historically or uniformly treated other PGA (Tour) members.”

Gosh this is going to be so fun. Other than the truth coming out, who do you root for in this one?

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Reader Comments (42)

I'm rooting for the truth to come out and wherever it may lead. PEDs, party drugs, deer antler spray, etc.

Us hardcore golf fans need something to keep us engaged over the winter months. It appears legal battles will take the center stage.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Vijay did the wrong thing but he could win. This will be a wake up call for the tour telling them if they have a drug policy they better start enforcing it properly.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig
"One of the elements of bad faith that we are prepared to show in this case, is that the PGA (Tour) has made exception after exception after exception, both with regard to whom it was administering this drug policy, and against whom it was disciplining, violators of the drug policy." - Peter Ginsburg

"In rendering his decision in a particular case, the Commissioner may depart from the sanction guidance in the International Anti-Doping Standards as he deems appropriate in a particular case." - PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program Manual.

Tim has power after test results are in. But with regard to whom it tests? That's a completely different matter if Ginsburg can prove it. At least we can be comforted by the fact that Tim would never make a decision based on his bottom line.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
@Johnny -

To keep you engaged over the winter months? Little Timmy has two words for you - wraparound season!
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
This looks like Bad Guy versus Bad Guys. Golf wins?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
If the tour has something to hide this thing will be settled out of court with some serious non-disclosure language.
Can you imagine if El Tigre's name gets mentioned.....what fun!
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
I thought that the issue before the court was the arbitration clause and whether Vijay, as a member of the Tour, agreed to the arbitration clause and, if so, were the actions of the Tour, within the arbitration process, so egregious that Vijay is entitled to proceed in the courts. I'm not sure what Mr. Ginsburg's, apparently unsupported, allegations have to do with the arbitration process itself.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
What about the implications of "medical marijuana" in those states where it is legal?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Pass the Doritos Steve.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
Chapter 1.... Could be a huge scandal.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenter27putts
Finchem's always protected Tiger but maybe he's protected others, too? Vijay's lawyers will get to the bottom of the infamous 60 day "injuries". Er, no they won't because this thing will get settled.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
Could it be that Tim was CAVALIER with the rules when it comes to the PGA Tour drug policy and the tours top player? Could this player be found to have a ban substance in his blood? Even after it was spun around from a suspect doctor? Or maybe Tim just had a brain fart(masters drop) and forgot to look at his email that day. The mystery continues...One thing we all know...Brandel hates Vijay at least thats what he wrote a couple weeks ago.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commentervwgolfer
Hang him, right Vw? That'll teach 'em, heh heh
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
This is truly a stupid lawsuit by Vijay. The well written Skadden motion to dismiss on behalf of the tour is here:

The tour reversed its decision to suspend Vijay after the WADA took deer antler spray off the list. He did not miss an event during the suspension, and all his escrowed prize money was returned to him.

His claims read like a bad second year law student's tort exam answer - intentional infliction of mental distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence. The tour's enforcement of its own drug policy is relevant to its defense that private organizations can write their own rules - but in my humble opinion after reading about a half hour, it is a side show to a lawsuit that will eventually get flushed, for the 30 or so reasons the tour states in its motion.

And, pure guess on my part, but it is likely that any discovery regarding other drug tests is subject to a confidentiality order, and not likely to see the light of day, so don't get your hopes up.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I'm pulling for Vijay, and A-Rod too while we are at it. Both situations remind me of the NFL Bountygate fiasco where the "league" was found to be operating "above the law"...
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Tiger showed all the signs of being on steroids 5 years ago. We all know the tour would never in a million years touch that one if he was tested. Not that he would be. I wonder if VJ is threatening them with evidence of that?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
This is from the "I must be to bored to work" file.

Readers can go to the website of the New York County Clerk's office, go to Court Resources, then to Case information. The site will ask for the index number which is 6516592013. Once there, you can view all of the filings in the case, including the various motion papers. Vijay's papers, with regard to banned substance and other Tour members, only mentions one other player, Mark Calcavechia, who also used antler spray.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
If you read Ginsburg filing, it claims the Tour did not do any due diligence to determine if antler spray was in fact performance enhancing before suspending him. If that is true, they should settle up front.
Secondly, if Ginsburg's got anything substantial showing variance on the procedure, it never goes to court. The Tour would take a beating in the press.
And Bob, what evidence did Tiger show of steroid use 5 years ago? Evidence, really??
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
If Tiger was mentioned, I suspect it would've been leaked already. If Vijay really does have the evidence he says he does then, than this is a nightmare for the tour. I suspect Vijay isn't all that interested in settling.

Brandel is rather lucky everyone focused on the Tiger stuff, and ignored his Vijay comment. And that everyone dislikes Vijay so nobody stood up for him.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
''Other than the truth coming out, who do you root for in this one?''

Hopefully the suit isn't dismissed, but it sounds like it could be, based upon Pat's review (+1, Pat)

And IF it goes thru, hopefully VJ won't settle, and all the beans wil be rolled out on the table....

I was a bif VJ fan when he was on his winning streak- not as a fairweather fan, but as an admirer of winning in his 40's. In retrospect, I now wonder if he was juicing, since he abruptly quit winning when the ''enforcer'' rules got serious.

I don't care for his attitude, but I hope he wins this thing, and the PGAT is exposed.

Will it happen? 25-1, no.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Would love to have the PGA tour be forced to give information on every fine or whatever discipline method used against any player and this information be made public at the time!
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTiredProgrammer
I hope Tiger sues Bob for claiming that "Tiger showed all the signs of being on steroids 5 years ago". that I really want to see!
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterProzac
KG you are right. No evidence what so ever. But Tiger did gain 25 lbs of muscle that off season. Not unusual among testosterone filled 20 year old college guys. But Tiger was 34, naturally lean and a hard gainer who had been training with the best trainers all his life. That is off the charts unusual. Then we found out later the knee was shot and he had been seeing the steroid specialist for non steroid blood platelet injections. Oh and then he lost the 25 lbs of muscle just as fast.
Im guessing his knee was shot and he decided to try heal it with any non surgical means possible and the muscle gain was a side effect. He got linebacker jacked in 2 months, kept it for 6 then lost it in 2 months...either a typical steroid cycle or a complete coincidence. I do know that the reaction on tour from the few players I know was " are you F%^&$ing kidding me??" when they first saw him with 25 extra pounds. It's only a wild guess with no supporting evidence but it fits the facts.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Not just 4 players out of nine directors.
But in the past, filled with yes men who did the Board's bidding to further their own corporate growth.
Players took a backseat to business in most cases. Sometimes that is obviously the best way,
but players have very little say compared to what is publicly stated.
Think "our representative" government and you get the idea
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOkay
Bob, where to we go to find these very specific measurements you are citing?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
HBL, that is an awesome link -- thanking you!

As previously stated, pulling for Vijay here...

...but worried for him. Just started perusing the docs and this sentence starts on page 1, and ends on page 2, of the very first filing/complaint:

"The PGA TOUR does continuous and systematic business in New York, employs personnel in New York and hosts events in New York, including but not limited to the 2013 PGA Championship, one of the PGA TOUR’s most prestigious event."

Does the tour co-sanction majors? Is there a direct business relationship whereby such a claim could be made?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
From the letter sent to Vijay by PGA Tour:

"After considering all of the information in this case, the Commissioner has concluded that your conduct is a violation of the Program rules. The sanction imposed on you for your clear violation of the Program rules is ineligibility to participate in PGA TOUR or TOUR competitions and any related activities for a period of 90 days. Given that your earnings have been held in escrow since your participation in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, your suspension will begin retroactively to February 4, 2013 and will conclude May 11, 2013. Your results, earnings and FedExCup points from both the 2013 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the 2013 Northern Trust Open will be redistributed."

1. No mention of Senior Tour.

2. They make it retroactive so he couldn't keep that dough and then go cherrypick Senior Tour while he was "suspended"?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I am not familiar with USA law.
Could vj's sacked caddies sue him for "mental distress"?
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephen
He has a case. If successful this will open the door to collective bargaining for players
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
Lots of talk of settlement.

Why would ViJay settle?

He's not in this thing for the cash he wants revenge. My money is on ViJay.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
@Enigma - The Tour is a membership organization. In other words, the player/members are the Tour. With whom would they bargain? In the old cartoon strip Pogo there was a saying something to the effect, I have seen the enemy and it us.
11.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
Vijay will most likely lose the court case, but will hopefully pave the way for the TOUR to revise its arbitration policies. The current policy basically says, "We will make a decision, and if you don't like it, ask us to admit that we made the wrong decision."

I still think there's pretty strong evidence that his image was tarnished through the TOUR's original decision. This put him in a position where the only way to seek compensation for this was to further tarnish his reputation by commencing legal action.

Just say no to homeopathy, kids. They don't give you any of the nice feelings, and people will still hate you for using them. They may even say so in the press, and no-one will come to your defense.

(And for the nutsacks who keep harping on about how Vijay hasn't won since testing started... seriously? The guy is 51 and still works out more in a week than most guys do in a year. But he still putts like he has Parkinson's, as he has for most of the last 15 years, except for occasional bursts where he finds a new method that works for a while, during which time he kicks serious butt. Check out the Frys putting stats -- if Vijay and Jimmy Walker swapped putting stats, Vijay would have won by about 8 shots instead of coming second.)

If you include me in your namecalling, I don't appreciate it. I qualified my statement, and I remain uncertain, no matter how certain you seem to think you are.

Illusion, imagination, wishing and certainty are strange bedfellows.

And I still hope VJ gets to go to court, and wins..
11.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
If the procedure the Tour followed is as described in Ginsburg's filing and the Tour cannot show otherwise, I cannot see the Tour coming close to winning. Settlement at best. They fumbled this beyond all recognition.
Vijay: I used antler spray.
PGA: antler spray is banned.
Vijay: I did not know, but don't believe it is banned. It's not a PED.
PGA: it contains growth hormone, so it banned.
Vijay: but it cannot be ingested orally, so it should not be banned. I WILL send for independent tests.
PGA: go ahead, you are suspended.
Vijay: hey, the tests came back negative, cannot be ingested orally, therefore not a PED.
PGA: WADA? WADA the fvck is going on?
WADA: he's right, we WARNED about antler spray but did not ban it specifically as we could not show it to be a PED. We warned it may lead to a negative test as it contained IGF. But turns out it will not.
PGA: Vijay, you are NOT suspended, it's a misunderstanding. All WADAs fault. You understand of course.
Vijay: yeah, I understand you don't have a clue about PED testing or how to distinguish the difference between a positive test and a product warning. How do you implement a drug testing program without any idea how to manage it?
PGA : Vijay, you understand of course.
Vijay: ( on phone) may I speak with Peter Ginsburg please, I understand he has some experience in these matters and I would like him to represent me in a dispute I have with the Tour. In the words of Buffurd T. Justice, " I am going to BBQ their ass".
Ginsburg: they did what? No, really? What? You cannot be serious?
PGA: we are never wrong, we are really smart but occasionally screw up. Vijay, you understand, of course?
Ginsburg: as part of full disclosure, can we see all the files related to drug testing?
PGA: oh sh1t, now they are going to see the window dressing for what it is. Lets work on a baseless dismissal.
PGA lawyer: Everyone quiet.. They really are going to pay us to try to dismiss.
...and it continues.
11.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
Correct KG, Vijay has a case. Haphazard dealings and his reputation in the balance. Even singled out by a certain Golf Channel analyst as a target of hate.
11.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
You understand of course...hilarious but accurate. Sad
11.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEnigma
Hey Digsouth,

No offense intended. Just read too many times how Vijay "must" have juiced, yada yada yada, when most of his power comes from flexibility rather than bulk.

It is funny that the Tour rejected the notion that players have no power, given the minority of players on the Policy Board. Moreover, since the Commissioner has the discretion to override or at least deviate from the suggested methods/sanctions, it pretty much means that whenever the players do somehow push through a policy, it's still up to one man to decide whether or not that policy will be followed.

Yay for democracy, corporate style. Oops, I mean non-profit organization style. Oops, I mean non-profit for everyone except the commish and his VPs. I think that's what I mean. It's hard to tell, these days.'re so lucid, forceful and on point about this issue, love it!! Now, on that issue of a non-member whipping out her boob in the formal dining room...... ;0)
11.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

Sometimes issues that are reported as boobs behaving inappropriately are more complex than they seem.

And somehow I think the milk of Finchem's kindness dried up long ago.

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