PGA Will Enact Anti-Doping Policy In 2008

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Golf finally joined other major sports Thursday when its leading organizations announced an anti-doping policy that will begin in 2008.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, who also serves as chairman of the World Golf Foundation, said the policy includes a list of banned substances, and methods for each golf organization to carry them out.

The list of banned substances includes anabolic agents, hormones, stimulants, narcotics, beta blockers and masking agents. Golf did not adopt the World Anti-Doping Association list because Finchem said it would cause an additional administrative burden and "we do not consider the substances in any way impactful as a performance enhancement."

The organizations behind the drug policy are the PGA Tour, European Tour, U.S. Golf Association, Royal & Ancient Golf Club, Augusta National Golf Club, PGA of America and the LPGA Tour.

Finchem said the policy would be coordinated around the world, and that if a player is disciplined for violating the policy, such as suspension, that would be recognized by tours wherever he plays.

The LPGA Tour announced last November that it would begin testing next year, then it spent the next 12 months formulating a list of banned substances, testing protocol and punishment for any positive tests.

Finchem and others have said there is no evidence of golfers taking performance-enhancing drugs, although golf leaders have come under increasing pressure to develop a policy.

"I've said many times, the R&A has no reason to believe that golf is anything but a clean sport," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said. "But we've been supportive of coordinating an international effort in golf to test for drugs so we can demonstrate our sport is clean and we can keep it that way."


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