David Feherty on PGA Tour drug testing

Saturday December 6th, 2008
Victor Juhasz

By the time this issue hits the newsstands, a few brave men on the PGA Tour are likely to have whipped out their wedding-tackle in front of keen-eyed observers and handed over warm little bottles of their wee-wee for drug testing. Such drastic measures are the result of abiding by the WAD of A (World Anti-Doping Agency), whose regulations athletes have attempted to circumvent in every conceivable manner, including, by at least one cyclist, filling a condom with a relative's urine and stashing it under his armpit.

Frankly, I doubt that I could hide a condom full of family pee and make a dry backswing, and if I took a shot at it they'd probably tell me I was clean, but pregnant with twins.

Many players have serious issues with the observation procedure. The golfer has to drop his pants to his ankles, roll up his shirt and hold it under his chin, and squirt. I'm not kidding! Believe me, if I had to pee in front of someone, I'd toss down a dose or three of Cialis and Viagra, and maybe call Dick Vitale during the performance, just to make sure it took four hours.

I'd make the observer hold the bottle in one hand and his umbrella in the other. I imagine some idiot will eventually get caught for smoking dope, or some other recreational substance, but as I've said before, none of that crap helps you get a little white sphere into a hole in the ground in less swipes.

I don't see steroids enhancing a golfer's performance either. If being bigger and stronger is enough of an advantage to compensate for a scrotum the size of a seedless raisin and a temper like Rasputin, why don't we have gorilla-sized players getting shot outside of strip clubs or tossing their wives off balconies by now?

Sure, HGH is a drug that helps the body recover from injury, but the side effects are either unknown or not good, so taking it for performance enhancement is an idiotic personal risk. If you want to hit it ten yards farther and don't mind having a prostate the size of a bagel, have at it Einstein, and while you're at it, wash it down with a cup of Liquid Drano.

And what about beta-blockers? Anyone with a tame doctor (which would be everyone I know) can get an excuse note for those. Hell, just reading this column sends the collective blood pressure of about 50 percent of you through the roof, and there are so many people on prescribed amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin who have to take a beta-blocker to counteract the resulting rise in their blood pressure that we can effectively kick those out, too.

An amphetamine might work for a player who wasn't nervous enough, but I don't think I've ever met one of those. But say a player does get tossed for being amped-up — do we give his son an F in remedial quilting for taking the same pill?

Fortunately, the PGA Tour has had the good sense to implement a set of measures that give a player who has made an innocent mistake the chance to prove it, and they have ensured that all proceedings will be kept confidential until the entire process is over.

But get this: The WAD of A regulations actually require a player to submit to testing in his own home! I have advice for any tester who's thinking of trying this in the great state of Texas, where our law overrides the WAD of A. In Texas, if there is anyone on your property who is acting as though they might be a threat to you, your family, or even your beagle, you are allowed to give them a sample of lead, which, in a magnificent irony, is in exactly the same category as the drugs they're looking for. It's toxic, and it definitely won't help your golf game.

Thanks for calling 'round, pardner, and have a nice day!

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