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Wednesday 08, May 2013

  Doping Case Against Vijay Singh Dropped

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Doping Case Against Vijay Singh Dropped

The PGA Tour has dropped its doping case against Vijay Singh based on new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency that said using deer antler spray is no longer prohibited as it contains such small amounts of a growth hormone factor.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the bottom line is that given the change by WADA, we are dropping the case against Vijay Singh. Finchem added that the appeal of Singh against the sanctions imposed against him was almost over when WADA, which had warned about the spray in February, told the tour it no longer considers the use of deer antler spray to be prohibited except for a positive test result.

The Tour received a written statement from WADA that indicated the spray is known to contain small amounts of IGF-1. Reading from a statement, Finchem said the tour deemed it only fair to no longer treat Singh’s use of deer antler spray as a violation of the tour’s anti-doping program based on this new information, and given WADA’s lead role in interpreting the prohibited list.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Singh said he paid $9,000 last November for deer antler spray, hologram chips, and other products from Sports With Alternatives To Steroids. The deer antler spray was said to contain IGF-1, an insulin-like growth hormone that is on the list of banned substances under the tour’s anti-doping policy. The PGA Tour said the golfer provided a sample of the spray, and tests at a UCLA laboratory confirmed the presence of IGF-1. The golfer was penalized on February 19 – Tuesday of the Match Play Championship, for which the 50-year-old Fijian was not eligible – and Singh appealed a week later.

WADA provided a written statement after the tour contacted it to confirm technical points when the agency clarified its position and said we are talking about a determination that was made by scientists at WADA that relate to the consumption, through deer antler spray, of a technically violative substance, IGF-1 and the scientists looking at it concluded it resulted in infinitesimal amounts actually being taken into the recipient’s body, amounts that couldn’t be distinguished even if you had an accurate test with the amount that you might take into your body from milk, etc. Finchem added that a player taking enough IGF-1 to register a positive result is not possible because a positive reading means that you’re surpassing a certain level and there hasn’t been any level ever set.

Finchem went on to add that the fact of the matter here is – as some people in the medical community pointed out when this matter came up, and now science at WADA has looked into it and concluded on their own – it’s just not worth having it on the list in that context; he also added that he don’t know of a substance or a transfer mechanism out there that can loan a person to IGF levels that would get the attention of the WADA science people and clearly, this isn’t one and they’ve made that clear to us.

The PGA Tour commissioner said he doesn’t think you can move ahead with a prosecution on a player given this set of facts and that’s our conclusion. He also remarked Vijay wasn’t assessed this action because he was negligent and he wasn’t assessed it because he made a mistake. Vijay was assessed because he violated the doping code, and the doping code is predicated on a list of substances, Finchem remarked and added that we’re now finding from WADA that that substance doesn’t trigger a positive test to admission, so we have to respect that.

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Monday 06, May 2013

  Golf Needs Blood Testing For Doping, Says Norman

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Golf Needs Blood Testing For Doping, Says Norman

Australian professional golfer Greg Norman described the anti-doping procedures of the sport as “disgraceful” and called for blood testing to be instituted by the sport’s governing bodies.

The golfer who spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s and won over 85 international tournaments in his career, including two majors: The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993, said you only have to look at what happened to Vijay Singh just recently to know the drugs issue is there. In a magazine interview in January, Singh acknowledged that he did used deer antler spray, which contains a muscle-building hormone banned by the PGA Tour that can be detected only by blood tests.

Nicknamed The Great White Shark or sometimes simply The Shark, Norman remarked how deep it is [the problem], I have no idea because we only do urine analysis instead of blood testing and if you really want to be serious about it and find about what’s really going on, we need to do blood testing. The ex-golfer said he thinks it’s disgraceful, to tell you the truth and the golf associations have to get together and step it up. The Aussie golf great added that any sportsman or sportswoman who uses an outside agency to improve their skills is cheating and that sickens him. He also remarked golf authorities should make sure the sport is clean and they’re putting a black eye on their sport. Norman also remarked that if a sport gets itself clean, the corporate dollars will always be there because people will know it’s a sport they can trust and the rest will take care of itself.

Norman began playing golf at 15 and served as assistant professional under Billy McWilliam OAM at Beverley Park Golf Club in Sydney, New South Wales, at the age of 20. His professional career had begun as the trainee of Charlie Earp in the Royal Queensland Golf Club pro shop, earning A$38 a week. The golfer, in 1976, turned pro as a tournament player, and that year earned his first victory at the West Lakes Classic at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, South Australia and had his first victory in a European event in 1977, the Martini International, at the Blairgowrie Club in Scotland. In 1982, the Australian golfer was the leading money winner on the European Tour and he went on to join the U.S PGA Tour in 1983. In his first season on the PGA Tour in 1983, he had a runner-up finish in the Bay Hill Classic and won his maiden PGA Tour victory in 1984 at the Kemper Open, winning by five strokes. Greg Norman won the Australian Masters in February 1987 and the Australian Open later in the year by a record ten strokes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club to beat the previous Australian Open record winning margin of eight strokes by Jack Nicklaus in 1971. His victory in 1987 at the Australian Open lifted him back above Seve Ballesteros to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

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Monday 04, Feb 2013

  Deer Antler Spray Would Not Deliver IGF-1

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Deer Antler Spray Would Not Deliver IGF-1

A Johns Hopkins professor has remarked that even if Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis had made use of deer antler spray, his body would have never absorbed the banned substance IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) that is claimed by the manufacturer.

There is no scientifically accepted way to deliver IGF-1 orally, said Dr. Roberto Salvatori, who runs a lab studying growth hormone deficiency and has been on the Hopkins faculty since 1998. He said it is not possible for the hormone to come from a spray. The hormone, IGF-1, is used for treating a rare form of dwarfism known as Laron syndrome and other health complications where children fail to process or produce growth hormone. Insulin-like growth factor occurs naturally in the body and is produced as a result of the increase presence of human growth hormone (HGH).

In a recent article, Sports Illustrated disclosed that Lewis was connected to S.W.A.T.S. — Sports with Alternatives to Steroids — a company that has marketed alternative health supplements and products to athletes. The magazine story quotes S.W.A.T.S. co-founder Christopher Key as telling a group of college football players that the deer antler spray of the company includes IGF-1, which is a hormone banned by most major sports organizations including the NFL. Key claims that the deer-antler products made by SWATS “helped the body repair, regrow and rejuvenate” and that “you will never fail a drug test from taking our product.” He went on to add that his company has sold its products to more than 20 college football players each at Southeastern Conference schools Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, LSU, and Georgia.

Dean Nieves of Florida-based Bio Lab Naturals remarked that IGF-1 is very stable and it cannot exist outside of a very controlled environment. He added that it is disingenuous to make claims like deer antler spray or pills can deliver insulin-like growth factor, and the subsequent benefits like muscle growth and increased energy. Dean added that the substance is essentially an uncomplicated, “super-concentrated” and natural protein by the time the harvested antlers are broken down and processed to be sold. The deer antler spray is made by clipping still-growing antlers on deer or elk and then extracting those nutrients.

Meanwhile, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he “never, ever took” the stuff and described himself as “agitated,” not angry that this story has become part of the Super Bowl-week prelude to Baltimore’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Lewis added that he is sure that his teammates would not get distracted by the Sports Illustrated report. The Ravens linebacker is the leading tackler in the NFL post-season after returning from a torn right triceps that sidelined him for 10 games. The 2001 Super Bowl MVP Lewis called the whole episode a “joke” and a “trick of the devil” and added that he told teammates not to get disturbed.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Lewis told him that there is nothing to the story and he has never taken any of that thing ever. When asked about the deer antler spray, San Francisco’s tight end Vernon Davis said he does not think Ray Lewis would take any substance.

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Saturday 02, Feb 2013

  Baltimore Ravens Star Ordered Deer Antler Spray

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Baltimore Ravens Star Ordered Deer Antler Spray

A new report alleges that Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis ordered the deer-antler spray along with deer-antler pills and other products from a company with ties to performance enhancing drugs.

According to a report in the Sports Illustrated, the Ravens star sought help from the company Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS) in October after he tore his right triceps. The magazine reported that SWATS owner Mitch Ross recorded a call with Lewis hours after injury to the player in a game against Dallas. It was further reported that Lewis asked the owner of SWATS to send him deer-antler spray and pills, along with other products made by the company.

The company revealed that the hormone is harvested from deer in New Zealand. Deer-antler spray and pills contain a hormone termed IGF-1 that is believed to assist in muscle recovery. Sports Illustrated said the product is banned by the NCCA and every major professional league though SWATS claims their product is natural as a food. The spray, made of antler extract, is sprayed under the tongue and is believed to build muscles and makes one bigger, faster, and stronger. It is not possible to detect deer antler spray in drug tests and amateur and professional athletes around the world may be using it as the risk of getting caught is not that high. According to the Baltimore Sun, deer antlers are clipped off to make a deer-antler spray and then they are either grind, frozen, or cooked to get out the nutrients.

Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said the team knew about the report and Ryan has denied taking anything and has always passed all tests.

IGF-1 or insulin-like growth factor is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and circulates in the body. It is used to signal receptors in muscle cells to multiply and grow. Moreover, it aids growth and promote muscle strength in normal ranges besides increasing metabolism of carbohydrates to bring more sugars to the cells to assist in the growth of muscles.

Don Catlin, the former head of UCLA’s Olympic Analytical Lab, remarked that IGF-1 is “just like giving someone human growth hormone.” Dr. Roberto Salvatori, who studies growth hormone at Johns Hopkins University, remarked that there is no proof of a successful way to deliver IGF-1 in pill or spray form.

Professional golfer Vijay Singh recently admitted to using the deer-antler spray but claimed that he was not aware that it may contain a substance banned by the US PGA Tour. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he revealed using the spray. The magazine revealed that the golfer paid one of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids` owners USD 9,000 last November for the spray, hologram chips and other products. He added that he has been in contact with the PGA Tour and fully cooperating with their review of the matter. In another development, former British Open winner Bob Charles of New Zealand has disclosed that he used and promoted a banned deer-antler spray for more than 20 years and is surprised to know that it contains a substance that violates the doping protocols of golf.

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Thursday 31, Jan 2013

  Professional Golfer Admits Using Deer Antler Spray

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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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