Norman reinforces call for blood testing in all sports


After comments he made this weekend about the state of the PGA Tour's anti-doping efforts gained attention, Greg Norman appeared on 'Morning Drive' Wednesday to reiterate a call for blood testing – in all sports, not just golf.

'To me, you have to find the best possible and most scientifically infallible testing to get this,' explained Norman. 'And blood testing is really it.'

Norman's comments Wednesday came one day after the PGA Tour dropped its anti-doping case against Vijay Singh in light of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revising the status of the substance in question, IGF-1. 

Norman added that the source of his original frustrations were not just with what he saw in golf, but also with the testing policies of several sports in his homeland of Australia. He continued to champion the use of the 'Athlete Biological Passport' program, a comprehensive anti-doping product that uses both blood and urine analysis to build an individual, electronic record for each athlete.

'This is a great step by WADA to protect athletes around the world, to make sure clean athletes can show they're clean,' Norman said of the ABP. 'The ones who want to step on the other side of the line and try to tempt fate will be exposed.'

Currently the PGA Tour uses only urine analysis to test for performance-enhancing drugs, and though WADA still considers the use of deer-antler spray prohibited if a positive test results, there is no current test available for IGF-1, even in routine blood testing. The perceived ambiguity over the case that has resulted from the Tour's decision and reasoning did not sit well with the two-time major champion.

'It bothers me big time. If you have this fuzzy gray line sitting out there, you just sent a message to all the players,' he noted. 'There's millions and millions of dollars to be played for out there in our sport, and everybody's trying to get an advantage over somebody else.'

The former world No. 1 also drew a parallel between Singh's situation and a related issue seen on Tour during Norman's era.

'It's like beta blockers 20 years ago, when everybody thought they could calm their nerves down by taking beta blockers to get through a very nervous round of golf on a Sunday,' he added. 'It's no different; it's an outside agency that increases your chance of performing and taking advantage over other players.'

As Norman was sharing his comments, news broke that Singh had withdrawn from this week's event; the Aussie was quick to share his thoughts on the latest turn in one of the game's biggest stories.

'I think there's a lot of pressure on his shoulders right now,' he said of Singh. 'He probably couldn't focus on what he needed to focus on, being at Quail Hollow.'

Singh cited a back injury as the reason for his withdrawal.