Vijay Singh Escapes Punishment in Deer Antler Spray Probe
After several months of uncertainty, it looks like PGA Tour pro Vijay Singh will avoid a suspension for his use of deer antler spray. Singh will not face any sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for his use of the banned substance. This situation really couldn’t have been more convoluted, but “The Big Fijian” was informed today by Tour commission Tim Finchem that he will not face any punishment and he had been cleared of any doping violations.
Finchem gave a press conference Tuesday afternoon in which he said that Singh was sanctioned in February for the use of the spray but subsequently appealed. The WADA conducted their investigation, and thanks to the findings from their probe, the case was dropped.
Essentially, Singh got off on a technicality. He admitted to using the deer antler spray even though he never actually tested positive for IGF-1, which is a banned substance that is found in deer antler spray. The reason he didn’t test positive is because the Tour has no test for it. However, the Tour does reserve the right to treat the admission of use the same as a positive test.
After their tests, the WADA determined that the use of deer antler spray is no longer prohibited unless there is a positive test. Technically, there was no positive test based upon the work done by the WADA. Additionally, a positive test can only be determined if the level of IGF-1 in the blood is above a certain level. That baseline level has never been set, so there really can’t be a test result that results in disciplinary action, even if the amount of IGF-1 in the blood is exceedingly high.
It seems like this situation was botched on all fronts, and the Tour realized that if they tried to levy any punishment against Singh their case wouldn’t hold water in court. As such, they made the decision to cut their losses and move on. It’s far from a clean ending to the situation, but it is an ending nonetheless.