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Golf Australia Express : March 2013
a third-placing at the Byron Nelson Championship in 2006. But he made bigger headlines in 2009 when he became the first Tour player to be suspended for using a performance-enhancing substance. Barron had other health issues, including a severe panic disorder, and once admitted taking beta-blockers to combat the symptoms, until those products were added to the Tour’s list of banned substances. He then reportedly tested positive for a beta-blocker and supplemental testosterone and became a cautionary tale for golfers battling to take that next step. Singh’s use appears more innocuous, although if you’re putting something in or on your body, the onus is surely on you to ensure it’s above board. “While I have used deer antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour Anti-Doping Policy,” Singh said when he revealed he may be in a bit of trouble. “In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances.” Logic says that if drugs were so prevalent in golf, more players would have tested positive. You’d think so. It seems easy. Drugs taken. Test taken. Drugs detected. Player banned. But do yourself a favour and get a copy of former Lance Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton’s tell-all story of cycling’s great black lie. Hamilton and his EPO-taking cohorts were so far ahead of those seeking to catch them, it was (and probably still is) almost laughable. He spent years juiced up to the eyeballs, like the majority of the peloton, but remained undetected largely because their doctors were light years ahead of the guys trying to catch them. But then, golf has never really taken the potential drug threat that seriously. Athletes across all sports have been testing positive to PEDs for decades. So when did the PGA Tour start testing its players? The year was 2008. For real. Commissioner Finchen maintained as late as 2006 that there was “no reason to jump into the testing arena”. But when golfing royalty reveals what they believe is a dark underbelly of users and abusers within golf’s elite, it’s an opinion probably worth listening to. South African great Gary Player launched a broadside at what he believed was a culture of PED use within the professional game in 2007, but little came of it. At the time, they were extraordinary McDowell loves performing in front of big crowds. Why wouldn't he when they love him back? COVER the COVER the The fate of Vijay Singh's career is in the hands of the PGA Tour after the major winner admitted to using a banned substance. Rocky times ahead for the Big Fijian.
April 2013-The Masters