Golf organizations adopt anti-doping policy

Two substances from the World Anti-Doping Association list, which is used in the Olympics and other sports, was left off golf's banned list because Finchem said it would cause an undue administrative burden and golf executives do not believe those substances - Glucocorticosteroids and Beta-2-Agonists - will enhance a golfer's performance.

Finchem has resisted drug testing since the question was first posed at the start of the decade, saying there was no evidence of performance-enhancing drugs for golf or anyone using them. Even if that were the case, he suggested that golf could get by on its centuries-old honor code of players calling penalties on themselves.

But as doping began to surface in baseball and cycling and several other sports, golf came under increasing pressure to develop a policy.

And it made headlines in golf at the British Open this summer when nine-time major champion Gary Player said he knew for a fact that some golfers were using steroids and that one had confessed to him. Player didn't identify the player, saying he had promised not to tell.

"Certainly, the problems in other sports have created a growing perception among fans that athletes ... utilize substances that in other sports are banned," Finchem said. He also mentioned that the European and LPGA tours hold tournaments in countries where drug testing is required by the government, such as France.

"All of those things argue for moving forward," he said.

Finchem said proposals for testing and punishment would be reviewed by the PGA Tour policy board at the Nov. 12 meeting. The next step is to make sure its players know what's on the banned list, how to seek a medical waiver and what the punishment would be if a test came back positive.

He said there would be up to eight meetings over the first three months of 2008, along with a 24-hour consultation line for players, agents and fitness trainers.

"We are not going to just have a player meeting and 30 players come and call it a day," he said. "We will be out sitting down with players aggressively, and we will have a lot of people involved in that process. We're just not going to leaving anything to chance."

Each tour would be responsible for administering its own policy.

Finchem estimated the cost to the PGA Tour at about $1.5 million a year, but only as it relates to testing.

"No sport has gotten into testing without litigation arising in some fashion or form, and that's a whole other level of cost," he said. "But we're not worrying about that right now."

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