Oh, to be a fly on the wall today when PGA commissioner Tom Finchem meets with Vijay Singh regarding the golfer’s recent admission that he used the Ultimate Spray – a deer-antler extract that contains IGF-1, which is banned by every major sports league, including the PGA Tour.
Singh, who will be 50 years old on Feb. 22, has been remarkably competitive on the regular tour since turning 40 years old. He has more wins (22) in his 40s than any golfer in PGA history — five more than Sam Snead.
Perhaps Bambi has something to do with Vijay’s success.
Regardless, based on some of his recent comments, Singh most likely will plead ignorance while sitting on the hot seat at the Pebble Beach meeting with Finchem today.
“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 in a recent statement. “In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. . . .”
That’s all fine and good. But what he should have been reading was the August 2011 “green sheet” released to players with the following warning:
“The PGA Tour has learned that a supplement product marketed as ‘deer-antler spray’ contains a prohibited substance under the PGA Tour anti-doping program,” the warning read.
“Deer antler contains IGF-1, which naturally occurs in the human body and is a growth factor, like human growth hormone. IGF-1 protects cartilage, promotes the growth of bone cells and facilitates recovery. It is universally banned in all sports.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what that means.
The question is: how does Finchem handle this touchy situation?
According to the Tour’s policy, which was initiated in 2008, a player’s first doping violation can result in a suspension of up to one year, although Finchem “may depart from the sanction guidance … as he deems appropriate in a particular case.”
Stay tuned and here’s some advice for all professional golfers – READ THE GREEN SHEET!!!