Players Have 6 Months to Prepare for Testing

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2006 Target World Challenge pres. by CountrywideTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Tiger Woods said Wednesday that drug testing on the PGA TOUR will start July 8, and he is about halfway through the tour's anti-doping manual sent to players earlier this month.
 
'It's unbelievable how thick this thing is,' Woods said after his pro-am round at the Target World Challenge, the final tournament of the year. 'It's a lot to get through. I haven't gotten to the drug list yet.'
 
But he's not worried about the testing, which will start the Tuesday after his AT&T National at Congressional, saying he has been on the same nutritional program for years.
 
'I think it will help,' Woods said of drug testing. 'I certainly don't think it can hurt the game.'
 
The tour released an outline of the drug policy last month, and it sent players a comprehensive manual on Dec. 1. That was the first step in an intensive education program that will extend through June. Players must attend a drug policy meeting in January, and they will have access to a 24-hour hotline for questions about various substances.
 
Not everyone has started plowing through the manual.
 
Masters champion Zach Johnson said he sent his to his trainer, and wasn't aware there was a mandatory meeting in January.
 
Jim Furyk started to read the manual online, but didn't make it very far.
 
'It was like 41 pages,' he said. 'I got to page 2 on the Blackberry and realized there were 39 more pages to go. Forty-one pages of that? I don't think I can do it. I may read if it I feel it's necessary. For me, the idea is to make sure we go to the workshops and have all the people in place to help us out.'
 
Furyk said the biggest concern he has heard among players deals with prescription drugs. He said one health agency sends players a list of every prescription they have had filled for the year.
 
'I'll take those in from the last couple of years and say, 'Here's what I was prescribed. Is there an issue? Do I need a release?'' he said. 'Other than taking prescriptions for allergies, of if my neck flares up, an Alleve, then I'll be fine.'
 
The manual contains a list of prohibited substances that fall under 10 categories, ranging from anabolic steroids to human growth hormones to narcotics to beta blockers.
 
Woods said the manual indicated the tour can test anywhere at anytime without notice, even if it's not at a tournament.
 
'It's from the first day to whenever, for however long you play, wherever they want,' Woods said. 'And that's fine with me.'
 
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