Finchem No Drug Testing on PGA TOUR

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PGA Tour (75x100)AKRON, Ohio -- The PGA TOUR is one of the few major sports organization that does not have a drug testing program, and commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that's not about to change.
 
Finchem was defensive about the tour's lack of a drug policy -- the TOUR doesn't even publish a list of banned drugs -- and suggested that it was not worth testing without any evidence that players were using performance-enhancing drugs.
 
'I don't think we're naive,' Finchem said at the Bridgestone Invitational. 'I think we're very aggressive in having the capability to do whatever is necessary. But we need more than somebody just saying, 'Why don't you go test and make sure?''
 
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which sets the rules for everywhere in the world except the United States and Mexico, plans a random test at the World Amateur Team championship in South Africa in October.
 
R&A chief Peter Dawson said at the British Open he doesn't think golf has a problem with performance-enhancing drugs, but that he would support drug testing if necessary.
 
Finchem said if he had any indication a player was using illegal drugs, the tour likely would confront the player.
 
'I don't know that we would go out there and start testing everybody because we had a problem with one player,' he said. 'Having said that, if we had reason to believe that we had a pattern developing or any kind of substantial use at all, we would be fully prepared to take very aggressive action.'
 
Finchem said he expects his players to follow the rules, whether that means taking illegal drugs or signing for a lower score.
 
'I don't know of other sports where players have made a mistake on their scorecard or called a penalty on themselves that has cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars,' he said. 'That happens every year on the PGA TOUR. I'm not prepared to throw all that out just because somebody is waving their hand and saying, 'Gee whiz, all the other sports are testing; why aren't you?''
 
He said the tour bans illegal drugs or prescription drugs that belong to someone else. But that wouldn't account for all the drugs listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
 
How would he know if a player is using illegal drugs without testing them? Finchem said he wouldn't know if players were cheating -- such as moving a ball from under a tree -- if they didn't turn themselves in.
 
He also said starting a drug testing program would not end media scrutiny.
 
'If we didn't find something wrong, I doubt seriously whether the stories would be that we don't have a problem,' he said. 'My guess is stories would be, 'You're not testing right. Why did you test to begin with? You must have thought there was a problem.'
 
'We would then be in the same kettle with other sports that we think we're different from.'
 
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