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Writer: Singh may have not known spray banned

Vijay Singh
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One of the authors of the explosive Sports Illustrated article that links several athletes to banned substances, including Vijay Singh, said Wednesday on “Morning Drive” that Singh was “pretty open” about his use of deer-antler spray and that the 49-year-old Hall of Famer may not have known that the product is on the PGA Tour’s banned-substances list.

David Epstein, a senior writer and investigative reporter for Sports Illustrated, said that he talked to Singh last week during an “extensive and specific” phone interview.

In the SI story, Singh reportedly paid one of S.W.A.T.S.’ owners $9,000 last November for the spray, chips, beam ray and powder additive. He uses the spray “every couple of hours … every day,” and “sleeps with the beam ray on and has put chips on his ankles, waist and shoulders.”

Interview with Sports Illustrated's David Epstein

'Morning Drive': Questions Surrounding Singh story

“I’m looking forward to some change in my body,” Singh said, according to the report. “It’s really hard to feel the difference if you’re only doing it for a couple of months.”

When Epstein visited the company, he was intrigued by Singh’s case because most of the products had been given away for free. Singh, though, “felt interested enough in these products to actually shell out of a lot of money for them,” Epstein said.

Asked if he thought Singh knew he was taking a banned substance because of how forthcoming he was in discussing the products, Epstein said, “It makes me think that he probably didn’t know that. It would be a little strange because the guys in the company are usually very upfront that their products are banned by major sports organizations, but they can be a little equivocal about why it’s banned sometimes. But a quick Google (search) would tell anyone it’s banned. 

“I’m guessing that Vijay Singh doesn’t know the product has been called out by the PGA Tour specifically.”

Singh is playing this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, though it is unclear when he will make himself available to the media to discuss the story, if at all.

When asked whether Singh had contacted him since the story broke, Epstein said no.

“Our interview was extensive and specific,” Epstein said. “I’m not even sure what kind of denial he could issue because I have a lot more of his quotes if I needed them.”