Drug Testing On PGA Tour Raises Questions, Ire

With drug testing on the tour on the immediate horizon, it seems that the rank-and-file of the PGA Tour hadn’t really considered all the implications. Banning substances intended to give a player an edge makes sense; the full range of products on the World Anti Doping Association list borders on the absurd.  A recent Associated Press article highlights the frustration of players as reality is setting in:

(Frank) Lickliter doesn’t understand why the tour adopted WADA guidelines for golf, noting that Vick’s Vapor Inhaler is prohibited.

‘‘If I use Vick’s nasal spray three times, they can kick me off the tour forever,’’ Lickliter said. ‘‘Now, do you think Vick’s nasal spray is helping me compete out here? Half the stuff they’re testing for doesn’t help golfers. These so-called experts are not experts in golf.’‘

And then there’s the issue of products that might seem innocent, but contain substances that are on the banned list:

‘‘The only thing disconcerting is that you’re totally responsible for what you take,’’ Charles Howell III said. ‘‘You might take a product, and there’s nothing on the label that’s illegal, yet you don’t know if there’s cross-contamination.’‘

Others are worrying about the actual collection procedures:

Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger was indignant over having a ‘‘collector’’ accompany him into the restroom to watch him drop his pants and lift his shirt to make sure he didn’t have a urine sample taped to his side. And when it was mentioned that ‘‘anywhere’’ could include coming to a player’s house, Frank Lickliter suggested in so many words that the drug official bring a warrant.

The GolfBlogger’s prediction? This thing is going to get ugly.

 

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