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Thursday
May092013

Why Is Vijay Not Suing WADA?

If you've followed the Vijay Singh doping scandal, you know that he was cleared because the World Anti-Doping Agency rescinded its stance on deer antler spray when his appeal process led the PGA Tour to inquire with WADA "to confirm a number of technical points."

The PGA Tour, having never commented on the case other than to say no comment, then cleared Singh even though he had violated the doping policy as it was stated when Singh admitted to purchasing and using deer antler spray.

Yet Vijay has not named WADA in his suit and many think he would have had some merit to his claim had he named the organization that originally named deer antler spray as a violation and then changed their mind. After all, as recently as February 5th WADA had issued a warning about deer antler spray in light of Vijay's admission. The PGA Tour remained silent.

Singh's lawyers, who just magically were at The Players Wednesday--a day after filing the suit in New York--spoke to Golf Channel but did not go on camera. They did, however, get asked by reporter Todd Lewis and producer Scott Rude about WADA and attorney Peter Ginsburg responded:

Golf Channel: Will you take issue with WADA?

Ginsberg: We are only focused on the PGA (Tour).

And...

Golf Channel: In the recent past, the Tour has defaulted to WADA with issues related to performance enhancing drugs…

Ginsberg: All the PGA Tour had to do was reach out to the UCLA laboratory to analyze the spray is to ask UCLA to do a basic, elementary test to determine whether it contained any substance that was banned. The PGA (Tour) didn’t. They didn’t even bother. I don’t know if it was arrogance or irresponsibility. It was uneducated.

Would Vijay have at least some credibility had he also sued WADA?

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Reader Comments (34)

Vijay would have a case against WADA and wouldn't look like a tool for suing the Tour that he made millions on.
But more than anything with Vijay or drug testing, I hope Finchem and Co. learn their lesson about transparency here. The fact that there was no comment through the entire process until Finchem gave the exoneration is laughable. Had the Tour given more than a standard "we do not comment on player discipline" or "this investigation is ongoing" fans and media would not have been left to speculate and draw their own conclusions, especially when Vijay showed up at 4 different tournaments after the initial admission.
TRANSPARENCY, TIM! If the Ponte-Vedrans inform those who cover and follow the Tour, at least to some extent, they could have avoided this mess. It's possible that Singh might not have sued the Tour for damaging whatever shreds of a reputation he has left in the public eye.
-Josh
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh LaBell
I think the final quote from Ginsberg answers your question sufficiently (All the PGA Tour had to do...).

A better question is: Why don't UCLA sue the TOUR for making them look incompetent. Their report clearly showed that the product contained tiny, ineffectual amounts of IGF-1, yet the Tour still suspended Vijay based on that report. The message the Tour sent was that UCLA didn't know what they were doing because WADA disagreed with their results (until they checked them, when asked, but only during the appeals stage).

WADA did exactly the right thing. When given a set of data, they changed their scientific position in line with the evidence. The Tour behaved like a pack of flat-earthers, and ignored the evidence placed before them in favour of their opinion that they were right because they said so. It was at this point when it should have been announced that Vijay had not used PEDs. In mid-February. It would have stopped all the speculation in the media and cleared Vijay's name. They didn't do that. They let the whole mess drag on while Vijay appealed, during which time he was trying to compete knowing there was a chance that his results may not count anyway. The whole thing took nearly five months. It should have taken a couple of weeks, and the boys should have gone out for a beer afterwards as a public show of good will.

When WADA changed their stance, the Tour effectively shook their fists at the sky and said, "We would have got away with it, if not for those pesky scientists!" They left the impression that Vijay cheated and got away with it.

Which seems to be the impression that Geoff is determined to perpetuate.

Again, WADA changed their stance based on evidence. Why can't the media do that?
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay
Vijay should sue his putter(s). It's cost him more money over the last year than any action by the PGA Tour.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKRoper
Yeh, I thought these long putters were so good they should be illegal.

Vijay should sue his brain for forgetting he is the best putter in the world. He managed to convince himself of that for about six weeks in 2008 and won three real events plus Tiger's hit-and-giggle tournament. That was a genuine performance enhancer that never gets mentioned. Instead, half the articles state that his last victory was in September 2008, two months after the Tour brought in drug testing (with no mention that the 18 months before the tests were introduced were pretty lean). Ever so unbiased.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay
WADA changed their stance based on scientific evidence? Shouldn't they have had scientific evidence before banning the substance in the first place?

And yes his case would have had more merit, and looked better from a pr perspective. In truth his case still has some merit, even though he's a complete jerk for filing it
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterElf
Harrumph VJ, WADA and the PGATOUR - A paraphrase of the quote of the day from Steve Stricker, Rory's playing companion at Sawgrass yesterday: My wife and daughter are big tennis fans. I asked Rory a lot of questions about Caroline. How she practices, prepares and chills. We only spoke about Caroline. I don't care about what Rory does!
(I don't care about what VJ does henceforth either. Offer him $1 for so-called reputational damages and let him pay his own legal fees.)
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Elf. His case doesn't have merit and will be thrown out on the first motion to dismiss. The first 3 counts of negligence is legal incompetence since negligence is a TORT and requires actual physical injury which obviously is not the case. The only count that has merit is the conversion which is worth a few hundred dollars and the tour was going to pay anyways. This is legal ineptitude and Vijay will lose the counter suit for expenses too.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy
IGF-1 remains a banned substance on the WADA list. The USADA on their website make clear that supplements which boost IGF-1 in the body to provide benefits....are banned. Supplements and other animal products which contain naturally occurring IGF-1 in small amounts, and are inert, such as 'deer antler spray', milk, steak etc. clearly do not fall into that category.

The PGA Tour in their recent statement claimed that WADA no longer considers the use of 'deer antler spray' to be prohibited unless a positive test results.

I don't see how the words 'no longer considers' can be attributed to the WADA statement of April 30, which read:

“In relation to your pending IGF-1 matter, it is the position of WADA, in applying the Prohibited List, that the use of "deer antler spray" (which is known to contain small amounts of IGF-I) is not considered prohibited.

There is nothing in that statement to indicate that WADA had changed their stance on 'deer antler spray' or that it has ever been considered by the WADA to be prohibited. Similarly the WADA guidance issued on Feb 5th doesn't specifically ban the use of the spray. The note was intended to warn athletes that a positive test might result from the use of 'deer antler spray' due to the presence of the banned substance IGF-1 in the product.

Interestingly, the Tour have made no public mention of this guidance.

It seems to me that the Tour have intentionally given the impression of a change in stance by the WADA perhaps to help to justify the validity of their prior sanction on Vijay.

The Tour's statement indicates that their sanction on Vijay resulted from his admission to the use of the substance IGF-1 which is listed on the Tour's own list of banned substances. If that is in fact what happened, then Vijay may be correct in seeking the right of redress because of the Tour's failure of due diligence to check that 'deer antler spray' was prohibited by WADA or not..

On the other hand, had the the PGA Tour in fact imposed a ban on the 'deer antler spray' at some time prior to this case on their own account, then they would have been justified in applying a sanction on Vijay for a breach of that ban. In my view, this would be justified, irrespective of the fact that they will have subsequently lifted the ban on the product when their error in incorrectly banning it came to light. A lighter penalty than the three month suspension might have been appropriate given the fact that the Tour had incorrectly prohibited the product, without checking beforehand with WADA, and no doping actually occurred.

This case hinges mainly on whether the PGA Tour specifically banned 'deer antler spray' or not in their guidance to players or in their Anti-Doping rules, and whether their sanction on Vijay was applied for this or for some other reason.

The full facts will now be revealed in court. It's a pity all this couldn't have been thrashed out beforehand. Punitive sanctions should not have been applied before the matter had been fully investigated.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevildad
The WADA owes no legal duty to Vijay. The case against them would suck even worse than his case against the Tour, which really really sucks.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Daddy - torts don't require physical injury to be actionable. The tort of negligence can result in different kinds of damages that aren't of the physical injury variety. So long as there is a duty - breach - cause - prox cause - damages, the tort of negligence has been satisfied.

Ultimately, whether Vijay's case has merit or not, there is still the underlying issue of whether he should have sued. There are many instances when a person has an meritorious cause of action against another party and they choose not to pursue it for whatever reason. In this case, you'd think a guy who has so gloriously benefited from what the TOUR has provided him would let sleeping dogs lie. At the end of the day, he took a banned substance and admitted to it. Whoops...his mistake...it got cleared up...move on. And before you guys pounce on this and say that Vijay doesn't owe the TOUR anything, you're wrong. Yes, he played the golf, but the TOUR has given him the opportunity to play for $69M rather than the peanuts he would have made in Asia or Europe. Plus, they've invested his pension wisely and he could spend every cent he currently has and still be a multi, multimillionaire.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
Vijay is not suing WADA because Vijay didnt adopt Wada's list of banned substances, the PGA TOUR adopted Wada's list.

It's that old saying, be careful who you trust because ultimately your solely responsible.

In this instance the PGA TOUR adopted a PED list from WADA, possibly without ever questioning WADA about test results to everything on that list. I don't see where Vijay has a beef with WADA. I do see where Vijay has a beef with the PGA TOUR, who might have a beef with WADA. As it appears now, the PGA TOUR has adopted a list from a third party without ever knowing if in fact what's on that list really proves doping. In applying this list to the TOURS members the TOUR becomes liable, not WADA. WADA doesn't have any control over the PGA TOUR, Tim Finchem does.

Why would the leader of a sports organization adopt a list from a third party without verification that the items on the list IN FACT contain something illegal? That's like taking off in a plane without checking hour fuel tanks. Mayday, mayday, were at 45,000 feet and we've run out of fuel. Ty, did you check the fuel, no Tim I let WADA gas us up, ok, I know, let's blame it on Vijay.

The PGA TOUR is responsible to its members for what's on that list, maybe WADA is responsible to the PGA TOUR?
Lots of folks seem delighted that both Timmy and vijay seem to have screwed up. You all hate both....it's a win win. But in reality you have to choose one side or the other and root for either Timmy or veeg. Either Timmy's process is deeply flawed and veeg is a victim of a tyrannical non-accountable autocrat or timmy is doing the best he can and veeg is gaming the system. It is one or the other....not both. Please choose whom you are rooting for. No fair rooting against both.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoe
I am struggling to find what damages were inflicted on Vijay by the Tour. He admitted taking a banned substance to the press. The press then compared that substance to what is supposedly allowed by the Tour and began the clamour that Vijay should be banned or suspended or whatever. At that point is when the public ridicule and humiliation began. The Tour was very closed mouth about the status how they would deal with his case - which at a minimum required them to look into it and decide if he did in fact violate their policy. They did not disclose publicy the result of their investigation, and in fact their only comment in the entire process was to state that he ultimately had been cleared of wrongdoing. They only temporarily docked his pay until the matter had been resolved, which seems to be a reasonable course of action, and I am sure SOP. He was allowed to continue to play and earn money in while the investigation and appeal proceeded. I get that he had to spend some of his own money to clear his name, so fine, maybe that could have been worked out (and really how much was that compared to Vijay's Tour earnings?).
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Buck,

The reason that the PGAT adopted the WADA list is because WADA is an internationally accepeted organization with regards to PED's. Nearly every major sporting organization references the WADA banned substance list. This is because those organizations are in the business of running their respective sports, not performing chemical testing on thousands of different products to determine if they contain PED's.

As mentioned in a post above, the case will likely hinge on whether the PGAT specifically referenced deer antler spray in its correspondence to members. If so, regardless of whether it contained IGF-1 or not, Vijay had a responsibility to either not use it or petition the PGAT to have it removed from the banned list before use. Them's the rules and the PGAT can make any rule it pleases as long as it does not violate law. For instance, regardless of what the USGA/R&A do regarding long putters, the PGAT can make its own rules allowing or prohibiting their use. If the USGA/R&A suddenly decided to drop the proposed ban because they determine that anchoring has no competitive impact, the PGAT can still ban them. And if Vijay then anchored anyway and was then penalized or disciplined, he could not use as an excuse that the USGA/R&A found there was no advantage.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTampaGolfer
In my early 40's, I still don't understand why hitting a ball OB results in a stroke and distance penalty. Nevertheless, I was trained as a golfer to obey the "rule" and take my penalty. As golfers, we just follow the rules and don't demand answers to "why."

When you get around to it, the entire drug testing policy is about protecting competitors from people with an unfair advantage. For many substances (Steroids, HGH, etc), the advantages are well known and proven. For other substances like caffeine, there is only a ban if the athlete exceeds a certain level (Like a blood alcohol test for driving).

Vijay's case is interesting because he did NOT ever admit to taking IGF-1. He admitted to taking the "Spray" which the PGA Tour (and the WADA ??) said was "deer antler spray" and who beleived had IGF-1 in it.

The Tour's Case: You took the Spray which we told you had IGF-1 in it. Thus you took a "banned" substance and should be punished.

Vijay's Defense: I did take the Spray (which is not on the banned list). Furthermore, it does not contain IGF-1.

Many Golfers, being rules freaks, think that Vijay should be punished b/c the PGA Tour said players shouldn't take "deer antler spray." A rule is a rule is a rule. Others, recognize that a rule banning "performance enhancing drugs" must actually involve ingestion of banned substances. If 'deer antler spray' doesn't actually contain IGF-1, there is no violation.

The more I learned about this mess, the more I think that the PGA Tour would have banned Coca-Cola b/c they heard it contained cocaine in it and didn't bother to have it tested.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Fester
Little Timmy has been gaming his "own" system for years. Something that could have taken two weeks instead took five months? I'll repeat: Something that only needed two weeks took five months? In that context, regardless if your hated by your peers, five months to figure out what only needed two weeks? Is it true that Vijay paid out of his own pocket to have the testing done? Guilty, until you prove your own innocence? Where was Little Timmy these past five months, on spring break? Five months, and you sit back and let the accused player do your job for you? Seriously? Here all along I believed that's why Little Timmy paid himself all those big BUCK$ (LOL'S) because he is so sophisticated. Sitting around on your ass for five months and doing nothing while someone else is twisting off in the wind is all anyone needs to conclude that the organization has a faux Commissioner. Mr Boondoggle himself, all debonair as he's fighting a kid needing a cart. If Vijay can drive a wooden stake in the proper place ( meaningless wether it's red, white, or yellow) we might see a whole different Vijay. A smiling, jovial Vijay.
Vijay deals with the tour, a disconnect between the PGA and WADA is not his problem. This must be the sloppiest case of outsourcing in history. The PGA press release reads like a corporate version of "the dog ate my homework".
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSnoozing Marshall
I'm curious as to wich one of the 14,000 Vise Presidents down in PVB is responsible for interfacing with WADA.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCASH CLOWNS
I read Daddy's post above, and others beat me to it. Daddy; you're not a tort lawyer, are you? Because your response wouldn't pass a first-year torts exam.

Pat's short but not-so-sweet reply explained it better. What duty did WADA owe to Vijay? I suppose someone could make an allegation, but it would be a weak one. (Tort lawyers are famous for stretching the concepts of "duty" and "foreseeability." See, e.g., MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co.)

Unlilke Pat, I am not so sure that Vijay's case is junk. I'd like to know a lot more.

One thing -- Geoff -- is that this case will present an even greater need for the PGA Tour to keep disciplinary matters confidential and unpublished. I know that a lot of reporters have been frustrated by that policy. This is an object lesson in why it exists.

Where is Judge Lavin on this?
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
I can't believe Vijay is claiming that the Tour hurt his reputation. He has a pretty low reputation to start with.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
once a cheater, always a,...oh never mind
05.10.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
>> The Tour's Case: You took the Spray which we told you had IGF-1 in it. Thus you took a "banned" substance and should be punished.

>> Vijay's Defense: I did take the Spray (which is not on the banned list). Furthermore, it does not contain IGF-1.

Fester,

Lets assume for the sake of argument that tour members were notified that deer antler spray was specifically prohibited and it was because the PGAT believed that it contained IGF-1. Vijay, as a tour member, has a responsibility to read and abide by the terms of the letter, i.e. don't use deer antler spray. Lets say Vijay reads this letter and independantly determines that it is BS because he knows that deer antler spray contains less IGF-1 than the glass of milk that he had at breakfast. At this point, what should Vijay do?

Another scenario - Vijay doesn't read the letter, takes the spray and volunteers this information to an internationally published, well respected sports magazine. The PGAT reminds Vijay about the letter and tells him that given his well circulated admission to taking a banned substance (regardless of whether that ban was later found to unjustified), especially after a letter specifically informing members not to use the spray, some sort of disciplinary action would ensue. It then comes to light (via the UCLA lab) that the levels og IGF-1 in the spray are so negligible tahe it is less than the glass of milk that Tim had for breakfast that morning. What should Tim do?

Scenario one is easy: Vijay should educate the PGAT about the true nature of deer antler spray and petition to have it removed from the banned list. But until such time as it is officially removed, he should never, ever use the spray.

Scenario two is slightly more difficult. On the one hand, Vijay publicly admitted taking a substance that the PGAT specifically said was prohibited. Since the PGAT has the authority to set its own rules, Vijay still gets discplined because he admittedly broke a rule (see Tiger, drop), even if he had no knowledge of the rule (see Johnson, waste area). On the other hand, the basis for the initial prohibition was unfounded. Legally, if Vijay broke the rule, I believe the PGAT has grounds to disciplne him.From a PR point of view, however, I think the PGAT should have either made the penalty minimal or dismissed it completely, which, ironically, is what it did. What it also did was follow its procedures to the letter, and was in the middle of the appeal process when it dropped the case.

As for Vijay, he is apparently concerned that the PGAT has tainted him a cheater. But the fact remains that at the time he took the spray he knew, or should have known, that it was banned. Moreover, the PGAT never disclosed anything regarding the case except that it was dropped. Public knowledge of the details comes from Vijay himeself.

In sort, the history of golf is littered with stories of people who unknowingly broke a silly rule that had no reall consequence on the results of the competition but who were penalized nonetheless. Vijay escped such a fate. More prudent council might have advised Vijay to work out a mutually acceptable statement with the PGAT, reiterate that when he took he didn't know it was banned and that had he known he would never have taken it and then thank the PGAT for dropping the case when it was dtermined that the IGF-1 levels were negligible (which it might have done in the normal course after Vijay's appeal).
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTampaGolfer
@joe.... One doesn't have to take a side when one doesn't care about VJ or Finchem on any level.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
@TampaGolfer

The problem with your post is that "deer antler spray" was not and has never been a "banned substance." Only IGF-1 is banned and it is undisputed that Vijay did not actually take it. He admitted to taking a substance which the PGA Tour (and Wada) thought contained IGF-1 but did not.

If you look at the list below, WADA bans pharmacological substances - not brand names for things people might buy at GNC. Let's look at what Barry Bonds took. He took the "Clear" and the "Cream." If you look at the list, they are not anywhere to be found. BUT - Barry Bonds violated the rules b/c the Clear and the Cream are discrete substances that are banned (Steroids).

http://www.wada-ama.org/Documents/World_Anti-Doping_Program/WADP-Prohibited-list/2013/WADA-Prohibited-List-2013-EN.pdf

BTW - IGF-1 is on page 4
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Fester
Was somebody suppose to test this SHIT when Calc was told to quit taking it?
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFore Caddy
@Fore Caddie

You are 100% correct. Before the PGA Tour took action, it should have known what was actually in deer antler spray.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Fester
Ut-Oh. That would mean one of the "vise presidents" didnt take this spray by the horns the first time around. Amazing, for months I was really taken back by Vijay playing in all these events and thinking he's cheating. No excuse for the commish not to have known what was in this spray bottle once he told Calc to stop spraying it. For commish to say stop doing this and not even know why he is saying it is derelict in his responsibilities. I'm in agreement, five months to hand Veeg out to dry when you should have found out two years ago what it was Calc was spraying under his tongue. I'm astounded. The Shark was calling for blood testing a few days ago, looks like Greg is going to get his wish, gonna be all kinds of blood in the water. Gonna be a shark fest, bon appetite Greg.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFore Caddy
If a work memo popped up in my email 2 years ago talking about deer antler spray I most likely would have thought it was an ad or an announcement of a hunting trip and ignored it. Or maybe read it quickly, said WTF, and got on with my life and forgotten about it.

Would I remember it as the same stuff my caddy recommends much later, when he's talking about some new 'treatment'?

The banned substance is not on the list of ingredients, the product is not on the banned list. Anyone who joined the Tour less than 2 years ago never even got the memo. But everyone is supposed to know about it?

And it was never tested. Until it was tested and the results were ignored.

And the whole thing took way too long.

And look at how many people still believe Vijay took a banned substance.

He has a legitimate right to be angry.
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay
If Vijay read the rule book when he was 18
and forgot the pesky part about not changing scores
ahhh nevermind
05.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterreally
With the allegation express or implied here that Vijay was a cheater in the past, does anyone have any specific and clear evidence to support the allegation?
05.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBuffett
Anyone who makes a judgment of Vijay based on an incident in 1985 in Southeast Asia is foolishly naïve and should stay at Monsieur Bubba’s quilting bee where the world is still black and white. I have lived in several Southeast Asian countries over the past 35 years and reading the Vijay articles of a dozen years ago his denials sure sound plausible. Could someone else change the scorecard and then have him banned from the local tour? Of course! That is such a simple thing to do, those kinds of things happened all the time. The Euros figured that out and have moved on. Would it happen on a PGA Tour or European Tour event held in Southeast Asia? Of course not, you still don’t get it. Black and white cases are almost non-existent, and although we would like to think there are 50 shades of grey, the reality is there are 50,000 shades of nuanced and subtle grey over here. When Royalty, dictators, tycoons, or local Mafioso are involved it is not so simple. 50 or 100 or 200 million people in country x know it isn’t black and white, so get some cultural training. Take a few guys golfing and do more listening and less preaching. And watch carefully who is allowed to play through your group.
05.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob in Hanoi
@ bob in Hanoi Good post The Euros did move on and Vijay is been granted a LIfetime Membeship on the Euro Tour. Hardly worthy of anyone that was was a "cheater".
05.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheProfromDover
@Buffet: No. But here is something from John Garrity:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1019296/
05.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
I live in Jakarta and can attest that Bob is not mistaken about how stuff is done in this part of the world.

Often it works in your favour, like when you want to get a driving license in 15 minutes. Other times it works against you, like when you realize everyone else also got a quickie license without the hassle of learning how to drive.

The language is almost always spoken in the passive form. You never say, "You made a mistake." You say, "A mistake was made." It's very easy to upset someone accidentally, and you may never know you did it because they'll just keep smiling. 'Losing face' is a big fear here. Criminal proceedings are more like cash negotiations -- how guilty you are depends on which 'package' you buy.

I often wonder if the marker altered Vijay's card naively, as a nice gesture. It sounds like a weird thing to do, but it certainly fits the culture here. Then Vijay either hastily signed it, or took advantage.

The fact he was suspended certainly indicates the Asian Tour (or its predecessor) believed it was deliberate. However, as I said, there are so many subtleties here, it's easy for a small incident to become a fiasco.

I always wanted to track down the marker, whom Garrity identifies as Ruswin Ali. However, a google search reveals he doesn't exist outside of SI articles or articles that reference them. He has no facebook page, or twitter account (and this is the Twitter capital of the world). There seems to be no-one else google-worthy who shares that name (weird, since both names are common). It's possible that it's a short form of a longer name, but without more info, the trail runs cold.

One final thing... in parts of Indonesia, and especially in Java, there's an old caste culture that still permeates the national psyche. Laborers tended to be darker, since they worked in the sun, while the aristocracy had lighter skin. All the women here use that skin-whitening cream and are afraid to go to the beach. (My friend was told by her co-workers, upon returning from a holiday in Bali, "You're so dark, you look like a maid.") They love white foreigners here, but are less keen on dark foreigners -- even, say, a black guy from England. They certainly show less respect to dark people, even if they don't intend to. Like I said, it's deep in the psyche. Overall, they are the nicest and politest people I've met... until you make them lose face or don't show proper respect to a VIP.

What I'm saying is that a brash, cocky, young Fijian could easily have made his situation much worse without even trying.

If anyone here has a line to Garrity, can you get him to check his info on Ruswin Ali? Like a full name, or whether he's still alive? The internet says he's a ghost.
05.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackballed Vijay

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