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LPGA to Implement Drug Testing in 2008

Ladies Professional Golf AssociationWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour will test players for drugs in 2008, making it the first major golf tour to announce a drug-testing program.
Specifics of the testing plan will be worked up over the next six to nine months, LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said Wednesday. The tour plans to announce the program details, including testing methods and banned substances, in the second half of the 2007 season.
'While we have no evidence to date that any of our players are using performance-enhancing drugs, we need to have a very clear policy and a program in place,' Bivens said. 'We want to take a proactive role.'
The European Tour is working on a policy that chief executive George O'Grady said will be effective 'in the near future.' The PGA TOUR has no drug policy, although its Player Advisory Committee discussed the issue earlier this year. Some players, including world No. 1 Tiger Woods, have said there should be drug testing.
Players at last month's World Amateur Team Championships in South Africa were tested.
The LPGA will work to develop the new policy with the National Center for Drug Free Sport, which also manages testing programs for the NCAA and other organizations.
'We want to educate our members and we also want to promote fair and equitable competition,' Bivens said.
The announcement was made on the eve of the LPGA's season-ending ADT Championship, a 32-player event that begins Thursday and carries a first prize of $1 million, the largest in tour history.
The LPGA's 2007 schedule was released Wednesday, with 31 tournaments -- along with four unofficial events -- on the schedule. Tournaments previously held in Las Vegas and Stockbridge, Ga., are not on the 2007 schedule, and the May 17-20 weekend is still without a tournament.
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