Professional Golfer Admits Using Deer Antler Spray

A noted Fijian golfer of Indian origin has admitted he used deer-antler spray that contains the substance IGF-1, which is a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone and described by Sports Illustrated as a “natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth.”

Vijay Singh, the Fijian professional golfer, who was Number 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings for 32 weeks in 2004 and 2005 and was the leading PGA Tour money winner in 2003, 2004, and 2008 said he didn’t know the spray has a banned substance. He added that he reviewed the list of ingredients after receiving the product and didn’t not see any prohibited substances. Singh also added that he is absolutely shocked to learn that the deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and is angry with himself that he has put himself in this position.

The Sports Illustrated report said Singh paid $9,000 last November to Sports With Alternatives to Steroids for the spray, chips, beam ray, and a powder additive. It was also revealed that Singh was using the deer-antler spray every couple of hours, to sleep with the beam ray on and to have put chips on his ankles, waist, and shoulders.

The golfer also said he is contact with the PGA Tour and and co-operating fully with their review of this matter and will not be commenting any further at this time. According to the anti-doping guidelines of the PGA Tour, it does not matter whether a prohibited substance is taken unintentionally or unknowingly and it is very important for players to understand what is prohibited and how a prohibited substance may get into your body, potentially causing an accidental violation. The Tour issued a warning to its players two years ago about deer-antler spray after Champions Tour player Mark Calcavecchia began endorsing the product.

A report in Sports Illustrated had revealed that a sports supplement company, Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, claims to have provided products for athletes including Vijay Singh.

Singh, who turns 50 next month, became a rookie on the PGA Tour at age 30 and for a time went toe-to-toe with Tiger Woods. Singh was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2005 (but deferred his induction until 2006) and is best known for his meticulous preparation, often staying at the range hours before and after his tournament rounds to work on his game. Vijay Singh ranks third on the PGA Tour’s career money list with more than $67.2 million, trailing only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

In 1985, the professional golfer was banned from the Asian Tour after an alleged cheating incident at the Indonesian Open when he changed his scorecard and it is believed that the Southeast Asia Golf Federation suspended him indefinitely.

Under the tour’s anti-doping policy, Doug Barron is the only player to be suspended and missed part of 2009 and most of 2010 for using testosterone and beta blockers. In September 2010, his suspension of one year was lifted and Barron was granted a therapeutic use exemption for low testosterone.

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