A lengthy legal battle between Vijay Singh and the PGA Tour may be headed to trial.
According to multiple reports, Judge Eileen Bransten of the New York Supreme Court ruled on several motions from Singh’s lawsuit, which was filed in May 2013. Bransten partially denied the Tour’s request for summary judgment, claiming that the PGA Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when it suspended Singh for admitted use of deer-antler spray before consulting the World Anti-Doping Agency, the reports said.
“It is up to a jury to determine whether (the Tour’s) decision to not consult WADA and/or ignore WADA studies and findings issued prior to (Singh’s) suspension concerning deer-antler spray constitute an ‘appropriate’ investigation,” Bransten wrote, according to GolfChannel.com.
Singh admitted to using the spray, which contains the banned substance IGF-1, during a January 2013 interview with Sports Illustrated. After the three-time major champion was suspended, the PGA Tour consulted with WADA and discovered that a failed drug test — which Singh didn’t have — was mandatory in order for it to be considered a violation.
Singh’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, told Golf.com that the PGA Tour will have to answer for its conduct.
“We are looking forward to proceeding to trial and holding the PGA (Tour) responsible for its unprofessional administration of its own disciplinary policies, imposed on the golfers unilaterally and inequitably,” Ginsberg wrote in an e-mail to the website. “The (Tour) failed to consult with international experts in Vijay’s case, as it was obligated to do, even failed to keep up with those experts’ publicly stated positions on matters crucial to this case, and then the (Tour’s) leaders issued false and harmful comments in an effort to rationalize the (Tour’s) actions.”
According to GolfChannel.com, Bransten dismissed Singh’s claim that he was treated differently than other players who had also admitted to taking deer-antler spray.
A Tour spokesman declined to comment on Bransten’s ruling or any ongoing litigation, the reports said.