O’Meara says Singh should be punished for doping
Vijay Singh should be suspended ”for a couple of months” by
the U.S. PGA Tour for admitting he used deer-antler spray which
contains a banned substance, two-time major winner Mark O’Meara
said on Thursday.
O’Meara, who called Singh a friend, said he heard about the
Fijian’s admission on Wednesday but doesn’t believe he benefited on
the course from the unorthodox treatment.
”I was obviously a little bit surprised with what I heard but I
don’t think Vijay is a guy that would ever take advantage of
anything. I know Vijay,” O’Meara said, after finishing his first
round at the Dubai Desert Classic.
”I guess they could probably suspend him for a couple of
months. I would think so,” he said. ”Listen, people have had to
pay the price before and he should be no different. If that is the
case and the commissioner and tour feels he should be suspended for
x amount of time, I think Vijay is man enough that he’ll do
The 49-year-old Singh said he paid one of Sports With
Alternatives To Steroids’ owners $9,000 in November for the spray
and other products, Sports Illustrated said. Singh released a
statement at the Phoenix Open confirming he had taken it but that
he was ” absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a
banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this
Singh, who won the last of his 56 titles in 2008, said he will
cooperate with the tour’s review of the issue.
Bob Charles, the 1963 British Open winner, said in New Zealand
on Thursday he also used and promoted deer-antler spray for more
than 20 years and was surprised to learn it contained a banned
substance. Charles was a spokesman for the deer-antler product and
used it daily over two decades.
Despite Singh’s admission, O’Meara and other golfers said they
felt the measures in place to combat doping in golf, including
random testing, were adequate.
”I don’t think doping is a problem in golf whatsoever. I really
don’t,” Paul Casey said. ”There are so many facets to our sport.
Why was he taking it? Was he taking it to recovery from injury? It
doesn’t help you get the ball in the hole at the end of the day.
This is the first case I’ve heard where a guy admitted to taking
The oddity of deer-antler spray being used by golfers was the
talk on the Dubai course on Thursday, with golfers including Lee
Westwood having a good laugh about it. Most said they had never
heard of it until the story on Singh.
”Deer-antler spray? That sounds like something you wax your car
with, doesn’t it?” Westwood said. ”I’ve never heard of it … you
have to be careful about what you take. I try not to take anything
now, really, other than Corona and vodka.”
Colin Montgomerie, a rival of Singh during their heydays, called
the whole case ”odd” and said the European Tour doctor ”came to
us (and said) deer antler, whatever it is, don’t take that this
He insisted the tour had nothing to worry about with him when it
came to doping.
”I can only speak for myself and it’s not widespread within the
Montgomerie family,” the 2010 Europe Ryder Cup captain said,
looking down at his torso. ”Unfortunately. You can see that
though, can’t you, really.”