From the wires...
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief Dick Pound praised golf for aiming to rid the sport of doping, but balked Thursday at the World Golf Foundation's use of its own performance-enhancing substances list.Actually, they still suggest it's not a problem, and without testing, who is to argue with them?
"Two or three months ago, the PGA was denying that there was ever a problem in golf," Pound said in a conference call. So, "there is quite a lot of progress that's been made."
"It's very disappointing to us, however, that they would not use (the WADA) list" of banned substances, he added.It's hard to get as worked up as Dick when you see that they have added some pretty significant stuff to the golf list, as Doug Ferguson reported:
US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem earlier announced that golf's top professional players would face random drug tests beginning in 2008.
The list of banned substances is similar to one released by the women's LPGA Tour in March, including most muscle-building steroids and adrenaline-diminishing beta-blockers.
But it does not include substances that, Finchem said, do not enhance performance in golf.
"I don't understand that, unless it's simply organizational testosterone - they can't be seen to accept anyone else's list," Pound lamented.
"My question to golf would be: Is there anything on the list under the world anti-doping code that you think your players should be able to take?
"And if there is, then golf should indicate what they think their athletes should be able to take that the rest of the athletes around the world can't."
The list of banned substances includes anabolic agents, hormones, stimulants, narcotics, beta blockers and masking agents. Golf did not adopt the World Anti-Doping Association list because Finchem said it would cause an additional administrative burden and “we do not consider the substances in any way impactful as a performance enhancement.”
Thomas Bonk talks to Dr. Gary Wadler, a member of a World Anti-Doping Agency committee, who is much more upbeat about the testing list than Pound:
"I applaud the PGA Tour and all of the other bodies in professional golf," he said. "I've said on many occasions, there's no sport that's inherently immune to doping. It's a sad commentary, but it's true."
The number of prohibited substances and methods represents only a small percentage of what is banned by WADA. Its lengthy doping list is a 19-page document. While WADA chair Dick Pound said the entire list should have been adopted by professional golf, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said some substances were not included because of high testing costs and their irrelevance to golf.
Wadler said the inclusion of hormones on the banned list could be interpreted as testing for human growth hormone, which he said needed to be on every professional sports anti-doping list.
"It sounds to me as if they should not try to reinvent the wheel when that wheel has already been invented, so it sounds as if they used the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list as a guide, and that's good," he said.