Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Steroids in Professional Golf?

I just ran across a very interesting article that appeared in ESPN.com, but was originally written by Matthew Rudy from Golf World. With steroids all the rage right now in professional baseball, he asks the question: Do steroids have a role in professional golf? Before this article, I really didn’t think about it. Most major sports test for illegal substances and the rules regarding them are outlined in each union’s collective bargaining agreement. The World Anti-Doping Agency tests nearly 170,000 samples annually and the International Olympics Committee is religious about its testing. Yet, golf has no rules to address this.

A major reason might be that golf does not have a player’s union. Another could be that golf is considered a gentlemanly sport. Gentlemanly or not, if a player can win $925,000 in one tournament like Fred Funk just did, getting a little extra help from steroids could mean a heck of a lot of cash over a golfer’s career. It might benefit our sport if the PGA and LPGA looked at this more closely before the Congress feels compelled to. Let’s use just one example. Of the 384 college golfers tested in the NCAA’s anti-doping program, 7 flunked their drug test. Perhaps steroids are more prevalent than we think.


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