Greg Norman calls for blood testing to root out drug cheats in golf
Last Updated: April 29, 2013 2:27pm
Greg Norman: Described current drug testing measures as 'disgraceful'
Greg Norman has called on golf's governing bodies to introduce more comprehensive drug testing procedures after describing the current measures as "disgraceful".
The former world No 1 hit out at the lack of blood testing in the wake of Vijay Singh's recent admission that he had been taking deer-antler spray as a supplement.
The Fijian insisted he was unaware that the spray is believed to contain the hormone IGF-1, which is a banned substance and can be detected only by blood tests.
"You only have to look at what happened to Vijay Singh just recently to know the drugs issue is there," Norman told The Australian newspaper.
"How deep the problem is, I have no idea because we only do urine analysis instead of blood testing. If you really want to be serious about it and find out about what's really going on, we need to do blood testing.
"I think it's disgraceful, to tell you the truth. The golf associations have to get together and step it up.
"It's a pin prick for a player and you find out what's going on. If you're the head of golf or any sport, it's your responsibility to make sure your sport is clean. That should be your No 1 priority.
"Any sportsman or sportswoman who uses an outside agency to improve their skills is cheating. It sickens me. They're putting a black eye on their sport.
"If a sport gets itself clean, the corporate dollars will always be there because people will know it's a sport they can trust. The rest will take care of itself."
When told of Norman's comments, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson insisted that new drug-testing procedures are "up for consideration".
"I can't speak from the Tours' position on this and week-in, week-out of course it's the Tours who are administering drug testing," Dawson said.
"As far as Olympic golf is concerned, when the players come under the International Golf Federation policy that will be a different story.
"We have a medical team working at the IGF now looking at golf's testing regime and coming up with recommendations for what's going to happen pre-Olympic games. So the issue of blood testing is up for consideration at the moment."