Tim Finchem slowly waking up to reality of drug-testing in golf
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has finally come out and said - with the authority of a wet dishrag - that perhaps the PGA Tour needs to test its golfers for performance-enhancing drugs. Maybe. But he wants the other pro golf organizations to hold his hand as he dips his toe in the fray.
Finchem says golf’s tours, pro organizations should join together
Saying drug testing in sports has become a reality, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said golf organizations around the world should work closely to develop rules that ultimately could lead to testing.
“It’s unfortunate that these realities are with us, but they are,” Finchem said Wednesday. “And we have to deal with them, and I think it’s important that golf deal with them collectively.”
Finchem had previously defended the tour’s lack of a drug-testing program, suggesting he had no evidence of drugs that would help or any players using performance-enhancing drugs.
The LPGA Tour announced last year it would start drug testing in 2008, while the European Tour is working on its own drug-testing program that could start as early as next season. In amateur golf, the R&A and USGA did a sample test at the World Amateur Team Championship in South Africa late last year, and all 12 golfers came back clean.
Finchem recommended that all golf organizations develop a single standard on what to test for and how.
Finchem said the first step is developing a policy for drugs and then figuring out the next step.
“We don’t have a rule on performance-enhancing drugs; we never had had,” he said. “We’re getting close on that. I suspect we’ll be done with that certainly this year.”
Once a rule is in place, he said it “in all likelihood will require … a testing program on some basis so that we have a legitimacy to the rule.”
The bet-hedging Finchem went on to say that Prohibition could have perhaps been a bad idea, that it was possible that maybe the Spanish Inquisition went too far, and that it could perhaps be correct to state that air is good to breathe.
Nonetheless, at least Finchem has pulled his chair near the table on the drug-testing issue. Because whether or not you want to argue from ignorance and debate whether steroids could help golfers, the simple fact is they would. And golfers are not “too pure to cheat.”
“You hear this in swimming, all other sports have cheaters but ours doesn’t. It’s the argument of an 8 year old,” said Dr. Charles Yesalis, a steroids expert and professor emeritus at Penn State.
“It’s not going to turn a mediocre golfer into a great golfer. But if you take Bambi and Godzilla, who’s going to hit the ball further? If you take someone who has his card and add muscle to him, he’ll do better,” said Dr. Yesalis.
I spoke to Dr. Yesalis about steroids and golf for a recent WorldGolf.com article “PGA Tour trails LPGA, European tours in considering anti-doping policy.” Take a look by clicking here.
It’s time to put the ignorance aside, whether you’re Tim Finchem or Joe Golf-Fan - Steroids can help golfers. And with the money involved at the top level of golf, either the PGA Tour gets proactive, or they will eventually have a nightmare scenario unfold that could leave the game’s reputation in shambles.
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It looks to me like Bivens and the ladies have already set the industry standard.
Finchem couldn't go very far wrong by taking a good look at her model.
About all Finchem can do is add to it or change some of the rules, but he'd look more like a tweaker than a fixer.
Maybe he could add some of the rules set out by the Euro tour but they look much like what Bivens has already.
the career of Woods would probably end before he
breaks the record of Nicklaus. The multicultural
conquest of America lobby cannot risk such a
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