MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP)—A U.S. magistrate on Monday denied a temporaryrestraining order sought by a golfer trying to block a one-year doping ban bythe U.S. PGA Tour long enough to let him play at a qualifying tournament inHouston.FILE - This is an Aug. 3, 2006…
AP - Nov 13, 11:30 am EST
U.S. Magistrate Judge Tu Pham ruled Monday that Doug Barron did not show alikelihood that he would win on his claims argued in a hearing Friday.
Barron, a 40-year-old professional from Memphis, was the first to be bannedfor violating the PGA Tour policy that went into effect July 3, 2008. Barrontested positive for the anabolic steroid testosterone and propranolol, abeta-blocker that calms nerves, at the PGA’s St. Jude Classic in Memphis inJune.
The judge said Barron made a strong case that irreparable harm would becaused but ruled the harm to others and the public interest weighed in favor ofdenying the “extraordinary remedy” of the restraining order.
In his ruling, Pham wrote that Barron’s participating in the qualifyinground this week “could raise substantial public policy concerns regarding theenforcement of anti-doping policies in professional sports.”
The PGA issued a statement after the ruling, “We are pleased with thecourt’s decision and have no further comment at this time.”
Attorney Jeffrey Rosenblum had argued Barron took the drugs under thesupervision of a doctor for “therapeutic use” and made no secret of it.Rosenblum said that Barron is “disabled” under the Americans With DisabilitiesAct because low testosterone “impairs a major life activity and that isintimacy with your wife.”
But attorneys for the PGA had argued a committee of doctors denied Barron’srequest for a therapeutic exemption in January 2009. An appeal to use thebeta-blocker also was denied.
Rosenblum said Monday night that he was disappointed that the restrainingorder was denied. But he said they were encouraged by several findings by thejudge and are considering a possible appeal.
“We consider this ruling to be a partial victory for Doug Barron. TheCourt’s ruling supports our allegations that there are serious questions to beaddressed regarding the PGA Tour’s application of its anti-doping policy,”Rosenblum said.