Chris Baldwin This Week at WorldGolf.com: Feb. 22, 2005

Jason Giambi took his first cuts at spring training today as a walking petrie dish, "the most obvious juicer in the game," according to Jose Canseco, a self-admitted steroid user according to leaked grand jury testimony. Every move Giambi makes will be analyzed, reanalyzed and then dissected some more in the upcoming months.

This is baseball's new reality, the harsh payback for years of turning an eye so blind that Stevie Wonder would not accept its version of vision.

Well, you know what major sport doesn't have a steroid policy now, let along a testing program? Golf. Go ahead and scoff, say how steroids would never infiltrate the game, how the chemists' magic pills, creams and syringes could never bring a competitor closer to a green jacket. This seems to be the view of PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who revealed in recent stories that even if golf ever suspected it had a steroid problem it would rely on an honor system like with all the other rules in the storied sport. This is surely the opinion of Retief Goosen who told The Associated Press, "There is a lot of power involved in golf, but more so feel and touch. I don't know if somebody took steroids how that would affect the game."

Don't listen now, but Finchem and Goosen sound a lot like Bud Selig and Mark McGwire did 10 years ago.

This isn't to suggest that golf will ever be hit by the kind of rampant steroid use that ran through the major leagues. It does show how deep and easy denial runs though. The biggest benefit of the juice is the ability to recover from workouts much quicker, to build mass and fast-twitch muscles much faster. Remember, how major leaguers used to scoff at steroid suggestions, by saying they couldn't help you hit a baseball?

To argue that steroids could have no benefit to the golfer is laughable. This is becoming more and more a game of athletes and as Canseco said on "60 Minutes," "Steroids make a good athlete great and a great athlete superhuman."

Something to think about before laughing off the idea of steroids in golf.

As always your comments are welcome on any topic, including the chance of a performance-enhanced golfer one day dominating the sport.

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