After years of battling and delaying, it looks like the PGA TOUR will be heading to court over its decision to suspend Vijay Singh. Although the court case they are dealing with isn’t as big as other major sports associations, like the NFL and the concussion lawsuits, for example, this case could still spell trouble for the PGA.
Remember back in 2013 when Vijay Singh was suspended from the PGA TOUR for using deer antler spray? Well, if you are wondering how in the world deer antler spray could possibly help a PGA professional, it apparently has chemicals in it that are banned from the PGA. One chemical in particular, IGF-1, falls as an illegal drug under the PGA’s anti-doping policy but, according to Singh’s camp, he still shouldn’t have been suspended.
This may seem like a far-fetched claim to make because it clearly states that IGF-1 is a banned substance in the anti-doping policy. And further, Singh even admits to using the deer antler spray that the chemical is found in. So how in the world could Vijay possibly claim to be wrongfully suspended? That’s like someone going up to a man, stabbing him in the chest in front of 50 witnesses, then claiming he was wrongfully convicted. But, like in almost every situation, there is a loophole.
The argument that Singh has been pushing for the past four years is that the PGA did not do enough due diligence to determine if deer antler spray was safe to use on Tour. According to Singh’s camp, the PGA TOUR did not consult with the World Anti Doping Agency about deer antler spray before suspending him. This is problematic because the WADA has previously ruled that deer antler spray is not a violation without a positive drug test.
While many could see Singh’s argument as thin, a New York Supreme Court judge did not see it that way, ruling that the case will see its day in court. Singh’s lawyer Peter Ginsburg was ecstatic with the decision, stating “We are looking forward to proceeding to trial and holding the PGA [Tour] responsible for its unprofessional administration of its own disciplinary policies, imposed on the golfers unilaterally and inequitably.”
While this court case certainly doesn’t have the flare of a Law & Order episode, the decision made in trial could affect the future of the anti-doping policy on the PGA TOUR.
Cover Photo via YouTube
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