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Discovery process set to begin in Singh v. PGA Tour

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New York Supreme Court judge Eileen Bransten has cleared the way for the detailed discovery process to begin for Vijay Singh, who sued the PGA Tour last year after being charged with a violation of the circuit’s anti-doping program.

Although Singh was later absolved of any wrongdoing, he sued the Tour in May 2013 for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith, and on Thursday the court ruled on the golfer’s motion to compel the circuit to produce a wide range of documents relating to the case.

Included in that request was any information regarding “the PGA Tour’s treatment of other golfers who were suspected of using substances that are banned.”

Bransten ruled that these documents were “material and necessary” to Singh’s case along with any information regarding IGF-1, the substance in deer antler spray that is banned by the Tour, and granted the Fijian’s motion to compel.

Bransten, however, did not agree with all of Singh’s requests, including a broad demand for “all documents and communications related to any positive test by any golfer.”

Specifically, Singh’s attorney’s had requested information involving five Tour players, but Bransten ruled those requests must be limited to only the “alleged use of IGF-1.”

A number of the Tour’s claims were dismissed by Bransten based on the notion that both parties have already agreed on a “confidentiality agreement” to protect sensitive information.

“I do believe in confidentiality agreements, if there is a breach of that, that’s something that is very, very, very serious, and I will take a great deal of umbrage at a breach,” Bransten said in February. “On the other hand, I cannot diminish or curtail the right of a plantiff or defendant to what is rightfully their right to a discovery item because it might have other consequences.”

The court did deny Singh’s request for information involving the creation of the circuit’s anti-doping program and the creation of its membership renewal forms as well as information related to colostrum, which contains IGF-1 but is not on the circuit’s list of banned substances.

A status conference for the case is scheduled for Oct. 7.