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McIlroy on doping: 'I think golf is clean'

Rory McIlroy
Getty Images

MARANA, Ariz. – Rory McIlroy doesn’t think golf has a doping problem.

Tuesday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, McIlroy was asked about Vijay Singh, who in a recent Sports Illustrated story admitted to using deer-antler spray, which contains a chemical that is on the PGA Tour’s banned-substances list. The PGA Tour has yet to formally respond to that admission, and after withdrawing from the Phoenix Open, Singh has been allowed to compete in the last two events, finishing 50th and 51st, respectively.

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McIlroy said that Singh, who turns 50 later this month, should be punished, in some manner, even though he doesn’t think that performance-enhancers really help a golfer excel on the course.

“Golf is built on integrity,” McIlroy said. “I think it was an honest mistake. Of course if you take something, you’ve got to be penalized in some way because you might be getting an unfair advantage against the field.

“But I think golf is clean. I don’t see how any real performance-enhancing drugs can actually help. If you take steroids or you take growth hormone in golf, OK, you’re going to get strong and you’re going to get big, but you might lose your feel. If you take a beta blocker or something that’s going to relax you, you’re going to get too relaxed and you lose concentration. I don’t see any sort of drug out there that could really help a golfer across the board.”