It’s no secret that drug testing of most major sports is constantly evolving to catch any and all forms of illegal drugs that may enhance a player’s ability in an unfair way. The Professional Golf Association Tour is no exception, having significantly amped up the frequency and accuracy of their test, ensuring that no illegal substance goes undetected.
Unfortunately, not everyone involved with the PGA tour is thrilled about the new policy. John Daly, also known as “Long John”, has refused to keep his opinions quiet about the supposedly random drug testing done by the PGA. Daly, who seems to have a reputation for being outspoken and temperamental, has publicly denounced the testing.
After participating in the Valpar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, Daly was quoted as saying “It’s not fair to the tour guys. I don’t mind taking a drug test at all. When I’m sitting out here Thursday and Friday thinking I’m going to get drug tested, holding my [urine] for two hours, it affects your golf game.”
Daly also spoke out the day before, while participating in the radio program, “Hitting it Hard with John Daly.” He claimed that there was no way the drug testing was random. “It’s not random; it’s big a joke. This whole drug testing is a joke… I’m pissed ’cause I know I’m going to get drug tested no matter where I go.”
The PGA tour has tried to combat Daly’s reckless and inflammatory remarks with a statement, “While our staff has met with John Daly in the past, including within the past year, to review the details of the program, it would appear we need to do so again based on his recent comments.” The tour has stated in the past that the testing is both random and selective, allowing for target testing in order to prevent drug use in golfing athletes.
Though talked about for a few years, beginning as early as 2006, the policy wasn’t put into effect until 2008. Obviously, the policy and its procedures still don’t sit well with members of the PGA tour, least of all John Daly. It seems, however that Daly isn’t the only one complaining, though he still stands alone in complaining publicly.
An unknown PGA tour veteran that has won multiple tours backs him up with this statement, “You would be surprised how many guys are tested more often [than others]. I refer to this group as the ‘safe’ guys. We get tested often because we are clean, and it makes testing look frequent and thorough. Total facade. They don’t test ‘big iffy’ guys often at all. Never out of competition, either. Testing Daly may seem thorough, but nobody has ever thought he’s done anything illegal. Only alcohol, and that’s not illegal. … It is a joke, as JD said. No transparency.”
The World Anti-Doping Agency has also been critical of the Tour’s testing program. The Tour only collects urine samples from players, therefore it is unable to test for banned substances like human growth hormone (HGH), which requires a blood sample.
These types of allegations are serious, and can shake the foundation on which the PGA testing regime stands. More information is required before its known whether it’s John Daly or the PGA who is correct in their view of drug testing players.
Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA