LOS ANGELES —
Also at stake is his integrity.
It doesn’t help that Singh had to overcome allegations early in his career that he doctored his scorecard to avoid missing the cut in Indonesia. Singh, who has denied the charges, was banned by the Asian tour. It dogged him for much of his career, even as he worked his way from giving $10 lessons in Borneo to becoming No. 1 in the world.
He hasn’t won since 2008, when he was the FedEx Cup champion with back-to-back wins in the playoffs. He has been slowed by injuries the last four years. Clearly, he was trying to gain an edge with the deer antler spray and other products from Sports with Alternative to Steroids.
Singh either forgot or ignored the tour’s warning a year earlier that deer antler spray might contain an insulin-like growth hormone known as IGF-1, which has been on the list of banned substances since the program began in 2008.
Every now and then, the tour will warn the players of a substance that could get them into trouble, which is what it did in the fall of 2011.
Singh said he reviewed the list of ingredients on the antler spray and did not see any banned substances.
That’s not being very vigilant. And it’s not much of an excuse.
If he’s spending $9,000 on products, does he not become suspicious enough to run this by the tour? Even a change in their nutrient program should be enough for players to ask questions. One player told a story Tuesday of getting a prescription for a new eye medicine. His first call was to the tour to make sure it was OK. The prescription cost $10.
Just as much is at stake for the integrity of the tour.
Doug Barron is the only player who has been suspended under the anti-doping policy, which didn’t cause too much of a ripple because only the hard-core golf fans had even heard of him. Singh is a Hall of Famer. The longer this drags on, the more speculation that the tour treats stars differently.