Feb
7
2013
Details from Vijay/Finchem meeting more secretive than a CIA planning session
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Oh my goodness: Deer antler spray is a banned substance?!? I plead ignorance.

Oh my goodness: Deer antler spray is a banned substance?!? I plead ignorance.

In light of admitting to using deer antler spray that may contain IGF-1, a banned substance, Vijay Singh and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem met on Wednesday afternoon at Pebble Beach.

According to GolfChannel.com, a member of Singh’s management team described reviews of the meeting as “mixed,” but wouldn’t elaborate further. 

Singh declined comment after a practice round at Spyglass Hill.

“Our anti-doping policy sets forth a review process for matters such as this,” Ty Votaw, the tour’s executive vice president, said Wednesday, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “We’re in the midst of that review process, and because we’re in the middle of it we really can’t comment on how it’s going, how long it’s going to go, until the pendency is over.”

Last week in a Sports Illustrated story, Vijay was named as one of the athletes who admitted to using deer antler spray produced by a company called S.W.A.T.S. The following day Singh released a statement saying he wasn’t aware it was a banned substance.

The “green sheet” that was given to players in August 2011 warned players to steer clear of deer antler spray, via GolfChannel.com

“The PGA Tour has learned that a supplement product marketed as ‘deer-antler spray’ contains a prohibited substance under the PGA Tour anti-doping program,” the warning read.

“Deer-antler contains IGF-1 which naturally occurs in the human body and is a growth factor, like human growth hormone. IGF-1 protects cartilage, promotes the growth of bone cells, and facilitates recovery. It is universally banned in all sports.”

Now the question is whether Singh will be suspended. The Tour’s anti-doping policy, which was established in 2008, calls for a suspension of up to one year for the first violation. However, Commissioner Finchem does not have to follow guidelines and may use his discretion to call for disciplinary action as he deems fit.

Singh withdrew from last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, citing back problems (insiders say his back is really, really messed up). He teed off today at Pebble Beach as scheduled at 8:11am and is currently one-under through eight holes. Pebble Beach is one of the three venues that this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is contesting.

 (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)