Vijay Singh said in a written statement Wednesday that he used a deer antler spray reputed to help stimulate muscle growth, but that he was shocked that the spray may have contained a substance banned by the PGA Tour.
"In light of the recent article on sportsillustrated.com, I want to issue the following statement," Singh said. "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. In fact, when I first received the product, I reviewed the list of ingredients and did not see any prohibited substances. I am absolutely shocked that deer antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position. I have been in contact with the PGA TOUR and am cooperating fully with their review of this matter. I will not be commenting further at this time."
In the Sports Illustrated article, Singh was named as one of several athletes to use a banned substance from a two-man company called S.W.A.T.S. -- Sports with Alternatives to Steroids. The company sells products such as deer antler spray and hologram chips that they claim will help athletes perform better on the field.
The deer antler spray contains IGF-1, which SI describes as a "natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth." It is also a banned substance by all major pro sports leagues.
According to SI, PGA Tour players were warned about the deer antler spray back in 2011 after Mark Calcavecchia was told by the PGA Tour to stop endorsing S.W.A.T.S.'s "Ultimate Spray." Ken Green also endorsed the product. However, Singh told SI he used the deer antler spray as well as other S.W.A.T.S. products that the company claims enhances athletic performance.
Vijay Singh, however, remains a vocal supporter. In November, Singh paid Ross $9,000 for the spray, chips, beam ray and powder additive -- making him one of the few athletes who is compensating S.W.A.T.S. He says he uses the spray banned by the PGA "every couple of hours . . . every day," sleeps with the beam ray on and has put chips on his ankles, waist and shoulders. "I'm looking forward to some change in my body," Singh says. "It's really hard to feel the difference if you're only doing it for a couple of months."
On Tuesday,Ty Votaw, executive vice president of communications for the PGA Tour, said on Tuesday that the PGA Tour had just been made aware of SI's article and was looking into it.