Donegan: Testing Soon?

Lawrence Donegan in The Guardian:

The Royal & Ancient came under increasing pressure yesterday to start testing competitors for drugs at the Open Championship amid mounting evidence that abuse of illegal substances among golfers is more prevalent than the governing body has been prepared to concede.

Documents from the French Golf Federation, which has been testing elite players for the past five years, produced 21 positive results from among 157 players - a failure rate of more than 13%. Among the drugs identified by the testers were cocaine, ecstasy and sambutamol, an asthma drug which taken in high doses can increase an athlete's endurance.

"We were shocked by these results," said Christophe Muniesa, the head of the French federation. "These tests revealed drug taking that seemed to be more of a consumer habit than any widespread attempt to cheat." He called on the R&A to promote golf's so-called clean image by introducing drug testing at the Open. "We do it at the Olympics Games and at the World Cup, so why do we not do it at the most important golf tournament in the world? If we have drug testing then people will know that golf is a clean sport."

The introduction of testing at major championships such as the Open also received backing from Dr Conor O'Brien, the former chairman of the Irish Anti-Doping Agency and a member of Wada. He said: "Anyone who cares about golf should support such a move, not least because testing would mean replacing suspicion and innuendo with fact."

O'Brien added: "Golf has changed into a power sport in recent years and it has become more clear why someone would use drugs. Getting the ball 320 yards down the fairway as opposed to 280 yards would be a big advantage.

"All the evidence shows there are drugs in every other sport, it would be foolish to think golf was not contaminated by the same disease."
Huh, go figure. And it all could be prevented, you know where I'm headed with that. 

Donegan also lists various drugs and what they might do to help a golfer.