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Singh Suspension Suspended

Vijay Singh will not face a suspension for his admitted use of Deer Antler Spray. (Steve Gibbons, USGA)
Vijay Singh will not face a suspension for his admitted use of deer antler spray. (Steve Gibbons, USGA)

Vijay Singh will not serve a suspension for admittedly using deer antler spray, because there’s no existing test for the banned substance IGF-1 that would record abnormal levels that might enhance performance.

Singh was told the news today by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem at Quail Hollow Club, site of the Wells Fargo Championship, where Singh is in the field.

Singh admitted to taking deer antler spray in a January 28 story that appeared in Sports Illustrated. That admission led the PGA Tour to rule that Singh should be suspended because, according to the Tour’s anti-doping policy, an admission is the same as a positive test.

Singh had appealed the suspension – of which Finchem would not reveal the length – and during what Finchem termed a “convoluted” appeals procedure, which could take as much as 45 days, the Tour received information from a world recognized drug testing organization.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last Friday ruled that taking deer antler spray no longer is prohibited. WADA said deer antler spray contains “small amounts” of IGF-1. Everyone has a small amount of IGF-1 that would show up on a blood test.

However, neither WADA nor the PGA Tour knows how much IGF-1 it takes to be considered performance enhancing. Therefore it took deer antler spray off its banned list. When such a test is available, Finchem said, everyone on the PGA Tour will know about it.

Because the new findings by WADA came about during Singh’s appeal process, Finchem said the PGA Tour would follow WADA and not carry out Singh’s suspension.


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