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Golf Australia Express : March 2013
comments from a respected former member of a playing group that has largely remained insular and quiet on the issue. “I know for a fact, that there are golfers, whether it’s HGH (human growth hormone), Creatine or steroids, that are doing it,” Player said. “I would say, of golfers around the world playing on tour, I would say there’s 10 guys taking something.” “I might be way out. Definitely not going to be lower, but might be a hell of a lot more.” Perhaps golf, as a sport and an industry, just doesn’t care whether certain players want to run the risk. It’s an easy stance to take, given a needle full of ’roids isn’t going to help anyone drain a 30-foot birdie putt at St Andrews. But golf at a professional level, like other international sporting tours, is about backing up performances each and every week. Schedules on the main tours are gruelling for those still trying to make a living. It’s about conditioning, fitness and maintenance of parts of the human body that are subject to extraordinary forces throughout the rigors of practice and tournament play. And if athletes are able to stave off the need for extended breaks or even surgery by popping a pill when they know no one’s watching, some will take that risk. There’s every chance they’re doing it now. The punishment—if any—that ultimately gets handed to Singh for his antler spray use will let the world know whether the Tour plans on taking a stronger stance against drug use, although commissioner Finchem’s rhetoric suggesting ‘everything is fine’ would suggest not. And to that, we can only say, oh dear. OTG COVER the COVER the TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS “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.” Doug Barron became the first player suspended under the PGA Tour's anti- doping policy for a year in 2009 for taking a PED—believed to be beta blockers. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem—seen here with Vijay Singh in 2008—said he'll make public "relatively soon" any sanctions the Tour decides to place against the hall-of-famer.
April 2013-The Masters