CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One day after the PGA Tour made its ruling on the Vijay Singh case, dropping its sanctions based on new findings from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the man in question still hadn’t issued a statement after withdrawing from the Wells Fargo Championship, but mixed reactions were coming in from his fellow PGA Tour members.
“I’ve got nothing against Vijay – he’s done a lot; he’s a Hall of Famer – but you just don’t come out and admit that you used a banned substance, then Mr. Finchem and the Tour don’t punish him for it,” Tommy Gainey said Wednesday. I’ve got a problem with that as a player. Because now it’s on the banned substance list, so there’s no gray area. Either he did or he didn’t. He admitted he did, but he got no punishment. I just think it’s going to open the door for a lot of bad things to happen.”
Earlier this year, Singh admitted to using deer antler spray, which contains IGF-1, a banned substance according to the PGA Tour’s Anti-Doping Policy. His ensuing sanction was appealed, and on Tuesday, the PGA Tour received paperwork from WADA explaining that the traces of IGF-1 in the spray are not enough to keep it on the banned list. In the wake of that news, the sanction against Singh was dropped.
“WADA says it’s no body, no murder,” Joe Ogilvie said. “If WADA says it’s fine, it’s fine. It’s not like the PGA Tour can say WADA is wrong. I mean, WADA is what we base everything on. I just think they need to get buttoned up a bit better. PEDs are certainly a problem in sports, but if the bodies that are administrating don’t know what's in them, that’s a problem.”
“WADA made a decision last Friday that said deer antler spray was no longer on the prohibited list, so there isn't much they can do about it,” added Rory McIlroy. “So, look, my stance on it is Vijay didn't know he was doing anything wrong, and if there's no intention there, then I don't see any reason to unfairly punish him, I guess.”
Even some players who understood the ruling still sounded like they weren’t exactly in favor of it.
“They decided it wasn’t banned, so it is what it is,” Gary Woodland said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s good for Vijay and we’ll move on. It’s a tough one. Some guys aren’t happy about it and some don’t care. He won his appeal and we have to move on from there.”
“If they say it’s right, if they say it’s legal, then it’s legal,” Bubba Watson added. “I stand by the PGA Tour. If I had a decision that went that way, I’d have to stand by it. The law is the law. There are laws we have to follow even though we may not like it.'