Golf legend Vijay Singh caught in doping controversy after 'admitting using banned deer antler spray'
09:09 GMT, 30 January 2013
11:09 GMT, 30 January 2013
Three-time major champion Vijay Singh is under investigation by the United States Tour after being linked to a banned substance.
Sports Illustrated claims that the
formidable Fijian, who has won more tournaments in his forties than any
golfer in history, has been using a deer antler spray containing IGF-1,
which the American magazine describes as a ‘natural anabolic hormone
that stimulates muscle growth.’
Deer-antler spray is banned by the major pro sports, including the PGA Tour and the NFL.
Under investigation: Vijay Singh has been linked with controversial supplements
The US Tour has repeatedly warned players against using sprays made by a company called SWATS – Sports with Alternatives to Steroids.
In 2011, former Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia was told to stop promoting the product.
According to Sports Illustrated, Singh paid $9,000 for the deer antler spray, an oscillating 'beam ray' lightbulb, stickers bearing holograms of a pyramid and power additives in November. He is quoted as saying that he uses the spray ‘every couple of hours….every day.’
Singh. a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said he sleeps with the 'beam ray' on and has put stickers, which SWATS term chips, on his ankles, waist and shoulders.
Different strokes: Vijay uses the SWATS products to boost muscle growth
‘I’m looking forward to some change in my body, Singh told the magazine. ‘It’s really hard to feel the difference if you’ve only been doing it for a couple of months.’ US Tour vice-president Ty Votaw admitted the tour are looking into the report.
Singh, who is scheduled to play in the Phoenix Open starting on Thursday, has been battling a number of injuries over the past few years. He turns 50 next month and is looking forward to a lucrative career on the Senior Tour. Like every player, he is subjected to the tour’s random drug-testing programme. Results are not announced unless a player tests positive.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who will be taking part in the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Sunday, was also mentioned in the report. He denied any use of the spray when asked about it on Tuesday.
The PGA Tour has said it will look into a report linking Vijay Singh with the use of a deer antler spray previously found to have contained a banned growth hormone.
The Fijian will still play in this week's Waste Management Open in Phoenix, but Tour vice-president Ty Votaw has said they will investigate the claims made in an article which appeared in Sports Illustrated.
'As we have just been made aware of the report we have not had a chance to review it in depth, but we will be looking into it,' Votaw told USA Today Sports.