Golf News for Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | Daily Golf Blogs

Baldwin: A PGA Tour drug testing policy without known penalties is stupid

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is like a parent whose kids laugh at him because he promises to punish them when they throw food on the floor and never does. He conducts himself with all the real authority of a Iraqi government official.

Finchem's latest is promoting a new drug testing plan in golf - which Finchem arrived at about as eagerly as Michael Vick will arrive at jail - that carries no penalties yet. That's right, Finchem announced that the PGA Tour will finally have drug testing, but declined to say what the penalties would be.

A stern talking to from Sherriff Finchem for the first steroid positive? A forced three-hour Barney viewing marathon for steroids test two? Three strikes and you're forced to listen to a continuous loop of Phil Mickelson talking about himself?

Really, it's almost like Finchem hoped that no one would notice that no actual penalties have been mentioned in this great drug testing plan.

Unfortunately for him, there's Tiger Woods calling him on his garbage again. In Montreal for the Presidents Cup, Woods told reporters that the penalties for failing a drug test should be "somewhat significant."

"Given our reputation in our sport, how honorable our sport is and always has been and will continue to be, I think that the penalty's got to be somewhat significant," Woods said in Montreal.

"I don't know how extensive. But I believe that it has to be somewhat significant because the sport has traditionally been about honor, and I think that someone who breaks that code of ethics in our sport should be penalized.

Here's a quick primer for Finchem: Somewhat significant does not mean anonymous counseling or any of the other garbage Major League Baseball tried before Congress started threatening the sport. Somewhat significant is not even the four games the NFL hands out if you're dumb enough to get caught by one of their tests - or order HGH in your own name through the mail and have it delivered to your house. No, somewhat significant should be a six-month competition ban for the first offense, with things escalating from there.

It appears Finchem would prefer a Please Don't Do That Again, delivered in private, instead.


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