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Hapless Singh has done golf a favour

Karl MacGinty

Published 12/02/2013 | 04:00

Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh

VIJAY SINGH sparked the biggest doping controversy in golf by taking deer antler spray – but the gullible Fijian also has done his sport a big favour.

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For decades, golf has been in denial about drugs. Well not anymore.

By unwittingly using a potion supposed to contain a banned growth hormone, three-time Major champion Singh has obliterated any doubt about the threat posed to golf by doping.

Purists who insist no substance can help a player finesse a bunker shot or sink a tricky six-foot putt for victory have had their case knocked right out of bounds.

Singh (right) patently had no idea deer antler velvet contains IGF-1, which is strictly prohibited by all sports.

It's still unclear if the 'Ultimate Spray' he bought last November as part of a cockeyed $9,000 package including a therapeutic light bulb and healing stickers, contained antler scrapings or sawdust.

Singh blundered into the shady world of unregulated sports supplements in a bid to find a concoction that would help keep injury at bay and allow him to practise as intensely as he did in his prime.

Fifty on Friday week, Singh hasn't won since 2008 and fell out of the world's top 50 as he grappled with a series of injuries.

Believing he may have found the elixir of youth, he squirted deer antler spray under his tongue several times a day, happily telling 'Sports Illustrated' all about it.

Might other elite players be tempted if they believed a substance might help them hit 100 more quality balls and work an extra hour in the gym each day?

Singh's case also highlighted a ludicrous loophole in anti-doping regulations. Though substances like IGF-1 are banned universally, golfers aren't screened for them, as the sport doesn't use blood testing, only urine sampling.

Irish Independent

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