GOLF NEWS -
Testing Likely To Start In Spring
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.
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
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.
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.
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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