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Apparently we were mistaken when we thought the Vijay Singh/deer antler spray saga was over.
Because it just got a lot more interesting.
Last week, Singh was exonerated from breaking any rules in the wake of his admission earlier this year that he used deer antler spray, which contains a banned substance. Singh never failed a test for the drug, so his record was cleared.
Singh then pulled out of last week’s Wells Fargo Championship because of a “sore back.”
Are we really supposed to believe that? It’s more likely that Singh felt the news was too much of a distraction. Or maybe he was trying to stay out of the spotlight for another week ahead of this weekend’s Players Championship.
Or perhaps he was meeting with his lawyer to draft a lawsuit he filed against the PGA Tour today, which claims, among other things, the Tour exposed the 50-year-old Fijian “to public humiliation and ridicule for months.”
The issues behind the PGA Tour’s drug testing policy are long and confusing. Essentially, Singh feels he was not treated equally as other golfers who admitted to using banned substances were. That includes Mark Calcavecchia, who apparently used deer antler spray and after admitting to it, was told by the PGA Tour to knock it off.
But Calcavecchia, the lawsuit claims, was not provisionally suspended, did not have his tournament winnings held back, and was not publicly outed — all of which happened to Singh.
So it seems that the “Big Fijian” might be onto something.
But the timing of the whole thing is bad, considering that the Players Championship kicks off Thursday morning at TPC Sawgrass. Singh is scheduled to tee off at 2 p.m. ET.
It’s clear that Singh is not happy with the PGA Tour or its commissioner Tim Finchum. And it’s painfully obvious that he filed the lawsuit the day before what’s known as the “unofficial fifth major” to make a point. A giant, capitalized, bolded point.
What was Singh doing using deer antler spray, anyway? Well, according to the Associated Press, his caddie Tony Shepherd first suggested it as a treatment for his knee and back troubles last fall. Shepherd arranged for Singh to meet the owner of the company that made the stuff, Sports With Alternatives to Steroids, who assured Singh there were no banned substances in the spray.
Singh was then asked to talk to a Sports Illustrated reporter writing a story about the company. When that hit the stands in January, the door was opened and it was discovered that there was a banned substance in the spray — IGF-1. The story, which also claimed NFL player Ray Lewis was another user, went viral from there.
And it’s not even close to being over.
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