Vijay Singh, who admitted last week to using a deer-antler spray that may contain IGF-1 - which is banned by every major sports league and the PGA Tour – met with Tour commissioner Tim Finchem on Wednesday at Pebble Beach.
A member of Singh’s management team told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that reviews of the meeting were “mixed,” but declined to offer any further details.
Singh declined an interview request and played a practice round on Spyglass Hill Golf Course.
Singh was linked to the Ultimate Spray, which is produced by a company called S.W.A.T.S. (Sports with Alternatives to Steroids), in a Sports Illustrated article and released a statement last Wednesday.
“While I have used deer-antler spray, at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour anti-doping policy,” Singh said in the statement. “In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. . . . I have been in contact with the PGA Tour and am cooperating fully with their review of this matter.”
According to the Tour’s anti-doping policy, which was initiated in 2008, a player’s first doping violation can result in a suspension up to one year, although Finchem “may depart from the sanction guidance . . . as he deems appropriate in a particular case.”
Singh is scheduled to tee off on Thursday at 8:11 a.m. (local time) on Pebble Beach Golf Links’ first hole.
In the August 2011 green sheet, which is circulated to players, the Tour warned players to avoid the spray.
“The PGA Tour has learned that a supplement product marketed as ‘deer-antler spray’ contains a prohibited substance under the PGA Tour anti-doping program,” the warning read.
“Deer-antler contains IGF-1 which naturally occurs in the human body and is a growth factor, like human growth hormone. IGF-1 protects cartilage, promotes the growth of bone cells, and facilitates recovery. It is universally banned in all sports.”