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GOLF NEWS - OCTOBER 2007

GOLF NEWS ARCHIVE>>>OCTOBER NEWS INDEX

Drug Testing Likely To Start In Spring

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As first reported in Golfweek (Sept. 1), the PGA Tour - along with all of golf's primary ruling bodies - will begin testing for performance-enhancing drugs in 2008. Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced Sept. 20 that he would submit a final plan to the circuit's Policy Board in November and expects testing to begin in the spring.

The World Golf Foundation - which includes representatives from the R&A, Augusta National, the PGA of America, U.S. Golf Association, LPGA and PGA European Tour - released what Finchem called a "model prohibited substances and methods list."

Included on the list are anabolic agents (such as testosterone), beta-blockers (which diminish the effects oh adrenaline) and narcotics.

Finchem said the list was the first phase of developing an anti-doping policy. The second phase will be completed before the end of the year and will include penalties, testing protocols and exemption procedures for therapeutic use.

One of the key elements of the anti-doping policy is the support it will receive from all of the game's ruling bodies. A positive test and resulting punishment would apply to all of the game's major  golf championships and on all primary golf tours. Although many details have not been finalized, Tour officials say educating players on a new policy would be the circuit's primary job heading into next season.

One concern regarding testing is the presence of some prohibited substances in common, over-the-counter medications. One of the active ingredients in some cough medicines, for example, is albuterol, which could show up on a performance-enhancing test as a masking agent.

Finchem, who had resisted testing for some time, citing the lack of evidence that there were performance-enhancing drugs in golf, said the cost of administering the tests would be between $1 million to $1.5 million per year for the next two or three years. "But for the problems in other sports, I doubt we would be at this point," Finchem said. "We are where we are given the way of the world."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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