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Wednesday
Feb132013

R&A's Dawson: Vijay Situation Will Lead To Testing Changes

Ewan Murray comes to Vijay Singh's defense and gets a surprising statement from R&A chief executive Peter Dawson who also is golf's representative with the International Golf Federation, and therefore the Olympic movement.

Singh admitted using the antler spray during an interview with Sports Illustrated. The spray reportedly contains IGF-1, a substance named among those banned by the PGA Tour. Singh's subsequent statement that he did not know what the antler spray contained would represent little or no defence.

That much is straightforward but IGF-1 would be detected only by a blood test, which the Tour does not undertake and, in any case, Singh has not been tested at all.

Dawson said: "You begin to wonder if your testing regimes are right. This is going to cause a lot of soul searching and I wouldn't be surprised if there are changes to procedure."

This is an odd statement for the reason Murray noted: that Singh did not fail a test. It's also strange in that the policy specifically states that even an attempt to acquire a banned substance is a violation. So how is the testing at fault when the policy was violated by an admission of guilt under the policy guidelines?

Also, deviating from the current policy could lead to golf not being in compliance with World Anti-Doping Association guidelines, therefore jeopardizing its place in the Olympics. Some people wouldn't mind that.

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Reader Comments (5)

The issue with most of the substances on the banned list is that a blood test is required detect any of the substances. I can imagine it or pro or the PAC agreed to blood testing regardless of the outcome of the situation. Submitting to urine testing is much simpler than submitting to blood testing.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterthemerk
Of course it should result in changes. If meat and eggs affect the production of IGF-1, and spraying homeopathic remedies doesn't, then only the active products should be banned.

If someone admitted they'd smeared heroin on their toes to cure a neck problem, would they be banned? (Admittedly, they may be arrested for possession of heroin.)

How much has Tiger spent on his knee to date? How many of us have access to that type of treatment?

How many of us would hit the ball thirty yards further if our only job was to play golf, so we practiced harder and went to the gym more often? Or had free access to better equipment and facilities?

There are inequalities everywhere. Different players use different balls, clubs, doctors, psychologists, diets and remedies. Some work, some don't.

I agree that drugs that give advantages (and probably harm the health of athletes) should be banned. I disagree that drugs that help an athlete (or anyone else) recover from an injury or otherwise put a player on an even playing field should be banned.

Everyone loves Eric Compton and his third heart. But what if he was taking beta blockers to prevent a heart attack on his first one?

I know the green sheet went out and it's the responsibility of every golfer to know the contents. But it went out more than a year before Vijay bought the stuff. I get work memos every day. If I saw a year ago that a particular brand of photocopy toner was not to be purchased, would I remember that today? Even if my job depended on it?

If I got sacked for that, I'd be miffed. So would you.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay
How could blood tests not be in compliance with WADA?
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
I don't like the idea of golf being in The Olympics but I wouldn't like to see it kicked out because of being equivocal about drugs and drug--testing. If it ever emerges that a cohort of top golfers are on dope, I'll feel very let down and disappointed. There are persistent rumors about some players that are alarming - that is why golf will have to conform with a bang-up-to-date, approved, testing regime.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
"There are persistent rumors about some players that are alarming"

Besides Woods and Sorenstam...who else?
02.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

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