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IGF-1 remains on PGA Tour's prohibited drug list

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DUBLIN, Ohio – Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, the substance that caused Vijay Singh to run afoul of the PGA Tour’s anti-doping program and sparked an ongoing legal battle between the Fijian and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., remained on the most recent prohibited list published on Tuesday by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

IGF-1 was listed as an active ingredient in the Ultimate Spray, which Singh admitted to using in a Sports Illustrated article earlier this year. Singh was informed by the Tour he’d violated the policy but before any sanctions were issued WADA offered a reprieve.

“IGF-1 is a prohibited substance and has been included on the prohibited list for years. On the other hand, very small quantities of IGF-1 can be found naturally in animal products,” a statement released on May 11 by WADA read.

“In the meantime, WADA repeats its warning that athletes who use these types of products do so at their own risk. Further, athletes are advised that, like other supplements, these products may be adulterated or spiked with substances not disclosed on the product label.”

WADA’s list committee reviewed IGF-1 last month, but the substance remained on the new list for 2014, although the use of the Ultimate Spray, which contains trace amounts of IGF-1, is not prohibited.

“IGF-1 has always been prohibited and will continue to be,” said Andy Levinson, the Tour’s executive director of policy administration. “If you consume it at a high level it would be prohibited, but when the amounts are so minute it wouldn’t have an impact on performance and it would not be prohibited.”

Levinson said the Tour consulted with WADA in the review process and that IGF-1 remains on the circuit’s banned list, which was released on Monday during rookie orientation.

Singh sued the Tour in May seeking damages for the circuit’s “reckless administration and implementation of its anti-doping policy” following his violation and subsequent acquittal for using deer antler spray. The Tour has since filed a motion to dismiss Singh’s suit, which will be argued in New York Supreme Court on Oct. 24.