Dope Testing Soon To Become Reality

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said at the Travelers Championship that golf tours around the world should work harder to implement anti-doping programmes.

It appears that every other governing body has made moves to establish drug testing. The LPGA Tour is to start testing in 2008 and the European Tour is aiming to have its own system in place by next season.

The R&A and USGA performed sample testing at last year’s World Amateur Championship in South Africa with all 12 golfers tested coming clean.

Finchem said in an Associated Press article:

“It’s unfortunate that these realities are with us, but they are. And we have to deal with them, and I think it’s important that golf deal with them collectively.”

Finchem is merely trying to keep golf in line with other sports, many of which have not really succeeded in keeping their backyards clean but are more concerned with having some kind of anti-doping policy to show their sincerity.

Some commentators, such as Sports Illustrated’s Bill Syken, believe dope-testing in golf is laughable, as he writes:

“Does he (Finchem), or anyone else out there, really think golf as a steroid problem? I mean, look at golf’s No. 2 player. More specifically, look at his body. If Phil Mickelson is taking hormones,, they’re the wrong kind.”

In a way, Syken has a point. However, he is looking at the wrong type of drug. Steroids are not really conducive to golf. They are mainly used by athletes in power sports where bursts of energy are required, such as sprinting, swimming or weightlifting.

And in these sports, the steroids are only of value during training, when athletes can speed up their recovery time from strenuous training activities to … well, train some more.

The PGA Tour is now in the process of establishing a list of drugs that would be on the banned list. Most probably, they will be looking at substances that enable golfers to keep calm

It is those six-foot putts for the championship where these drugs can really help, and that is where one golfer could have an unfair advantage over another.

Whether this happens already, we will never know. Maybe if we starting dope-testing, we will soon find out.

Leave a Reply