Daly: Drug testing not random; Tour responds

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Updated, 3:47 p.m.

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – On Tuesday during his SiriusXM radio show, John Daly called the PGA Tour’s drug testing program “a big joke.”

When he completed his pro-am round on Wednesday at the Valspar Championship the five-time Tour winner reiterated his claim that testing is not random, as the circuit says.

“I don’t mind taking a drug test at all, but when I’m out here on Thursday and Friday thinking I’m going to get drug tested holding my piss for two hours it affects your golf game,” he said.

Not having a true random program, Daly said, gives players who might be taking drugs that are banned by the anti-doping program a chance to circumvent the system.

“It’s not fair when a guy who might be doing something wrong that knows he has five or six weeks to do what he wants,” Daly said. “In the NFL, they know when they are getting drug tested, we don’t. If it’s random, than make it random.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Tour explained that testing is “both random and selective,” and that, “contrary to his assertions, John Daly has never been targeted for testing and his claim that players know when they will be tested is simply not true.”

Daly said he has been tested at the Valspar Championship five consecutive years and that he gets tested an average of six to nine times a year. To further make his point, Daly said he expects to be tested again later this summer at the Canadian Open and Reno-Tahoe Open because he does most years.

“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the guys pass drug tests anyway,” Daly said.

Daly’s frustration reached a boiling point last week at the Puerto Rico Open when he said he and a group of players were talking about the Tour’s testing policy and he said he expects to be fined by the Tour for his comments, which included particularly pointed criticisms of Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Andy Pazder, the circuit’s executive vice president and chief of operations.

“I took one for the team,” said Daly, who added that he has passed every drug test he’s ever taken.

The Tour does not disclose fines or punishments stemming from violations of the anti-doping program involving recreational drugs. Violations of the program involving performance-enhancing drugs are made public.

While most players on Wednesday at Innisbrook said they believed the Tour’s testing to be random, Henrik Stenson said he could see why a player might think otherwise.

“Early in the spring it seems to be quite a lot,” said Stenson, who added he’s tested about three times a year on Tour. “The easiest thing would almost to do everyone early, middle and late and then you can have a couple random every now and then.”