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Tuesday
Feb122013

Two Calls For Vijay Singh To Step Away

ESPN.com's Bob Harig asks, "How is it that Singh is even playing?"

He's referring to admitted doping policy violator Vijay Singh, who is in the field this week at Riviera for the Northern Trust Open as some feel his situation becomes a distraction for the tour each week he plays.

Because his status is under review, Singh is permitted to play, although there is a possibility that any official earnings or world ranking points could be rescinded, depending on the outcome of Finchem's investigation.

This much is clear: If Singh took a banned substance, knowingly or not, he has to be penalized by the tour's own rules. Ignorance is not a defense, nor is the argument that deer spray or IGF-1 is ineffective; it has been on the tour's banned substance list since the drug testing program began in 2008. Players were warned in 2011 about deer-antler spray in literature and emails widely circulated.

Doug Ferguson also submits a commentary suggesting that Singh should take a leave of absense until his situation is resolved.

Under the anti-doping policy, the Tour is required to disclose the name, confirm the violation and declare the penalty.

So far, there has been silence.

This is not a call for the Tour to rush to judgment. Singh's case is muddled. Yes, a player who admits to using a banned substance is the same as a player testing positive. But is there evidence that IGF-1 was in the spray that Singh was using? More than one doctor has said it's impossible for IGF-1 to enter the blood system through a spray. And the Tour does not have a blood test, anyway.

Plus, players have the right to appeal, and the policy says a hearing must take place within 45 days.

Singh brought this mess on himself, and now is the time for him to give back to the game that has provided him with so much. Singh could eliminate this distraction by taking a leave of absence until the Tour sorts this out. The sooner the better.

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Reader Comments (21)

I rarely disagree with Doug, but I do in this case. In no sport is the athlete in question not allowed to play while going through the disciplinary and even the appeals process. And while yes, the tours secrecy policy on discipline stinks, it's a red herring argument in this case, as the tour does publicizes doping discipline. It would be very weird though if the tour publicized the process. Sometimes you just have to let the process play out, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

What if this deer antler spray does not contain IGF-1? And the tour doesn't finish its investigation till mid April (consistent with Micelli's timeline). If Viay walks away he's lost two months of the season, including the masters - for no reason, other than some people would prefer this went away. And lets keep in mind he's not even remotely the only golfer who has used deer antler spray.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
We need to remember that VJ has an IQ of around 5. There's not much in the way of logical thinking happening upstairs. All he can do is play golf so that's what he's doing.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIanB
It just drives these press guys crazy he is still playing. They just can't handle it :o)
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
I love this stuff. A media member mentions this is a "distraction", to whom?
I am sure Tiger, Phil and Rory are having difficulties with their game because Vijay is playing after admitting he may have violated the policy. Guys are struggling to get through rounds I am sure.
This is just wrong. Media discover scandal, Tour uses their process to deal with it, media does not like lack of transparency, report issue is distraction. Horse hockey!!
Similar to the regular use of a athlete will not talk to us to "clarify" a situation, so these "rumors" will not go away, if "they" would just talk to us ( the media), we could clear this up. Woeful journalism.
The media will hype the distraction to try to make it an issue. All the while the real "issue" is the lack of transparency which is certainly debatable.
Media members are wrong to use this type of leverage. I understand it happens but it's really just blackmail by negative reporting. The poison pen so to speak.
Frankly, I don't think Anything should happen until the Tour knows all the facts and they are certainly murky.
If vijay is suspended for useing a banned substance that have proven to not be a PED or not effective method to deliver a PED, that's an injustice to the game and Vijay.
That's my rant
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
Thanks for the update with Corrigan's dose of logic.
"How is it that Singh is even playing?"

For the same reason that Ray Lewis played in the Super Bowl after being tied to this stuff. Even if the tour immediately handed down a verdict (like those in the media), there is still an appeals process.

I did not realize that Vijay was so unpopular in the media before this incident, but the claws have really come out.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterh2o-boy
Agree with elf 100%. Vijay will not voluntarily sit out leading up to and including the Masters if there's any chance he could ultimately be exonerated. And clearly there is that chance as the Tour would have otherwise handed out disciplinary action by now.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ
Agreed. Nobody has to be his own judge, jury and executioner. The ball is firmly in the Tour's court, where balls seem to be made of jelly.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
PEDS-seems to me the TV broadcasts are largely supported by ads from PEDS. I hope they are more effective than deer spray.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTaffy
The golf media is always always always protecting the guys that give them access and good quotes and punish the rest. Obviously they hate vijay. Golf media is run by non- professional hobbyists with axes to grind.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
Steve Elling has behaved appallingly in this whole episode. I wonder Vijay snubbed him at some point and hence he is pursuing some sort of personal vendetta against Singh.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
Play on Vijay! I hope he wins a MAJOR this year...
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Guilty until proven innocent? This is America.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF......you're forgetting VJ admitted to taking the stuff, there's no proving guilt or innocence on that. The grey area is what the deer spray actually contains and whether it really should be banned.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Yep. He freely admitted using what has supposedly been banned as a PED. No need for proof. "Intent" won't save him either. He "intended" to use something that was on the forbidden list, whether he intended to break the rule or not. However, this whole sorry episode is just that. Not to mention stupid on steroids, from all sides...the purveyors of this crap, Vijay, Ponte Vedra, the fourth estate.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Deer antler spray appears on no lists anywhere. Get the 2013 PGA Tour Anti-Doping manual and check yourself if you do not believe me. The words *deer*, *antler* and *velvet*, do no appear in the manual in any context.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I believe you. Thanks for looking there; I'll stick with PubMed. "Supposedly" is the operative term, it would seem. And maybe that is what has PV in such a crack.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Vijay was best buds with Alan Stanford, currently serving a 100+ year sentence for a ponzi scheme second to only Madoff.

It would appear that he has really poor judgement!
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterManku
If the mild-mannered Doug Ferguson is on his case, Vijay is absolutely SOL, indefensible, etc. He's long been a bit of an embarrassment to the game and this is the capstone on that aspect of his career.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
KLG, was speaking more so to Brad's thoughts.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
It seems you can hang crap on the media at large here, so long as you don't mention certain hacks (I've had previous posts invisiblamised).

The media can only post on what they know. They're not scientists. Scientists have given their opinion, and it seems deer spray is right up there with turip juice as as a PED. The ineffectuality of it has been reported, if not widely.

There has long been an anti-Vijay bias in the media. He hasn't helped this.

But this is nonsense. Others used it without penalty. It was never tested to see if it had any effect. It was banned anyway.

That's like banning a woman from posting photos of her face in case she happens to be naked from the neck down. Or banning pictures of cats from Facebook, just in case some memebers are into shagging cats. Or (more likely) banning you from posting pictures of your children on the internet because we know that pedophiles exist and might get excited about the photos.

Can we stop living in a nanny state where everyone who owns a pool has to put a fence around it in case some random neighbour kid runs into your yard and drowns?

Do we need warnings like "Don't use this hair dryer in the shower"? Or can we just assume that a company whose name is based on the words "Without Steroids" would be selling products that are safe for professional athletes to use?

Doug Barron was screwed over. Don't let it happen again.

Let's get the guys who are really cheating. I guarantee none of them have recently given interviews extolling the virtues of what they're taking.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay

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