So in a nutshell: Vijay Singh violated the tour doping policy, was found guilty by the tour, appealed, and in that process the World Anti-Doping Agency decided what he took was not so testable or so helpful, so he got off even though he remained guilty under tour policy whether he took the stuff or not.
Deer Antler Spray for all! Another feather in WADA's cap!
You can read Tim Finchem's press conference here and there's not as much gobbledygook as normal, just some choosing words carefully. But also several interesting points about the problems with blood testing even though the policy violation occurred before a single test was ever conducted.
Bob Harig reviews the finding and like me, seems to be stuck on this pesky fact:
The tour had warned its players about deer-antler spray in August 2011, but there is no test available in routine blood testing. At this time, the tour only conducts random urine tests. But an admission is still a violation of the policy, and Finchem said a sanction was issued to Singh on Feb. 19.
According to Section One of the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program Manual, a player is strictly liable whenever a prohibited substance is in his body, regardless of the circumstances.
“This means that if a test indicates the presence of a prohibited substance in your test sample, you have committed a doping violation regardless of how the prohibited substance entered your body,” according to the manual. “It does not matter whether you unintentionally or unknowingly used a prohibited substance.”
Because Singh did not test positive for the banned substance, according to Section Two (D) (8) titled PGA Tour Anti-Doping Program, Prohibited Conduct, Singh’s verbal admission was treated as a positive test.
Rex Hoggard calls the PGA Tour's handling a "slam dunk" in using this "emergency exit" solution, but then writes...
It’s also worth pointing out that IGF-1 was on the banned list when Singh admitted to using it. By comparison, if someone is given a speeding ticket for going 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, but the speed limit is increased on the same stretch of byway the next day to 70 mph, was there a violation?
Randall Mell goes big picture and concludes that "Golf seems more vulnerable today to the plague that has infected so many sports" after the decision:
If the lab coats were watching Tuesday’s news conference, they must have been giddy over the opportunity the sport presents as a new market. Singh gets a reprieve, basically, because deer-antler spray isn’t as effective as he thought it was. His ignorance and carelessness saved him, but those are qualities ripe for exploitation.