Finchem responds to 'gaps' in drug testing program

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DORAL, Fla. – Earlier this week the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency told Golf.com that the PGA Tour’s drug testing policies had “gaps,” specifically in what some believe is a lack of transparency.

Under the Tour’s anti-doping program, violations involving performance-enhancing drugs are made public, but violations involving recreational drugs are generally not publicized.

That policy does not follow the one used by WADA and some have suggested it creates dangerous confusion in situations involving players who are off the Tour for a period of time, leading to speculation they had been suspended for a failed drug test.

Golf.com reported last August that Dustin Johnson, who missed six months after last year’s Canadian Open to deal with “personal challenges,” had tested positive for cocaine and had been suspended.


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Both the Tour and Johnson denied those claims.

This week on WVFN Am 730, former Tour pro Dan Olsen said Tiger Woods is serving a month-long suspension according to “a strong witness."

"It's a credible person who is telling me this,” Olsen said.

The Tour denied Olsen’s claims and Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg said, “These claims are absolutely, unequivocally and completely false.”

Olsen later retracted his comments.

On Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship Tour commissioner Tim Finchem conceded that he could see how the Tour’s policy toward recreational violations of its anti-doping policy could compound these reports and leave the media and the public to assume the worse.

“When there is an off-the-wall comment by a player that incites the PGA Tour and there is absolutely no merit to it, from time to time we say and that’s what we did in this case,” Finchem said. “It’s the one area that gives us some trouble from time to time.”