Vijay Singh's former trainer said that Singh shouldn't be tainted by his admitted use of a deer antler spray that contains a substance banned by the PGA Tour.
“I’m not going to just sit back and watch Vijay’s career
get tarnished,” said Joey Diovisalvi, who worked with Singh for seven years and
is now working with, among others, Keegan Bradley. “It’s
completely approved over-the-counter; you and I can go buy it. But here’s where
it gets tricky: Just because we can go buy it doesn’t mean it’s approved for
golf. Vijay Singh is the real deal; I would think that he trusted somebody when
he shouldn’t have.” According to Sports Illustrated, Singh has been using a banned deer antler spray that contains IGF-1, a "natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth." In a written statement released Wednesday, Singh admitted using the spray, but said "at no time was I aware that it may contain a substance that is banned under the PGA Tour anti-doping policy."
49, has battled a bad back and other injuries in recent years, and hasn’t hid
from his use of the deer antler spray, which he bought from a two-man company
called Sports With Alternatives to Steroids (S.W.A.T.) He was quoted in the SI
story as saying he uses it “every couple of hours.”
to the SI story, the Tour told Champions tour pro Mark Calcavecchia to stop
using deer antler spray in 2011. Trainer
Diovisalvi says three-time major winner Singh’s candor about using the banned
substance proves he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong.
you and I robbed a bank,” Diovisalvi said, “would we tell everybody we did it?
I hope that Vijay gets in front of the media and says, ‘Yeah, I’m working with
this stuff and I hope it helps me, and I didn’t know it was on the banned list.’
Ignorance is innocence. Are we going to go back and question Vijay’s entire
career? Are we going to start questioning Tiger again? With the whole Lance
Armstrong thing going on, this is the absolute last thing we need in golf.”
is scheduled to play in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Among other ramifications, Singh's admitted use of a banned substance shines a light on the Tour's drug-testing program, which tests urine but not blood. Human growth hormone cannot be detected without a blood test. Golf is set to make its return as an Olympic sport in 2016. (Photo: Kohjiro Kinno/SI)